Citizen Journalism with its variants in Public Journalism or Civic
Journalism acquired the accoutrements of a movement in the early 2000s,
particularly in the United States. But the origins of Citizen Journalism are
as old as journalism, when pamphlets and reports were issued by citizens.
Some of the most powerful pieces of journalistic writing can be traced back
to individual initiatives of citizens as reporters not reporters as
The need for citizens as journalists and for citizen journalists has been
increasingly felt as media companies with their business and professional
news gathering models do not necessarily commit enough resources to covering
issues that beset a democracy such as ours or do not have any incentive to
cover problems from a wide swathe of society. But not covering these
problems and issues does not wish away the reality. And that is precisely
where citizen journalists can reclaim the conversation. It needs to be
remembered that the freedom of the press in India is an extension of the
freedom of expression given to each citizen.
JM Foundation for Excellence in Journalism believes that India needs
vigorous citizen journalism since it is well nigh impossible, for various
reasons, for the news media organizations to cover all issues that need to
be brought into the public eye. Hence, we have launched a Citizen Journalism
initiative, which will both train citizen journalists and also provide them
with a forum where they report.
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About Vikram Hazra
As Program Director of the International Art of Living Foundation, I travel, teach, sing, smile and serve, and strive to excel as an instrument of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, whose goal is to put the smile back on every face on this planet.