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Citizen Journalism

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Citizen Journalism Event

On Monday, August 7, Dan Gillmor, director of the Center for Citizen Media, and his co-coordinators brought about 100 people together to discuss citizen journalism. The purpose is to brainstorm some key aspects of citizen journalism, including principles, techniques, tools, business models and more.

The conference was in the "unconference" format. That is, the audience will be the experts -- no formal panels, but rather excellent moderators drawing out what we collectively know -- and the idea was to learn from each other.

The gathering took place at Harvard Law School's Pound Hall, beginning promptly at 9 a.m. and finishing at around 4:30 p.m. We also planned to have birds-of-a-feather dinners in Cambridge, most likely hosted by several speakers, for those who wanted to stick around.

The cost of the day was $20 at the door, to cover food costs (we'll provide morning coffee, lunch and an afternoon snack).

If you were looking for lodging, please see Citizen Journalism/Lodging for information.

Special thanks to the Berkman Center for sponsoring this event.

Moderators and Schedule

Monday, August 7

  • 8:30 Registration and coffee
  • 9 a.m. -- Welcome from Dan Gillmor

Sessions Remember: This is being done in unconference style: The audience is the panel, and the moderators -- experts in their own right -- will be drawing out our collective knowledge.

  • 9:10 a.m. -- Lisa Williams, who runs the H2otown blog covering Watertown, Mass., on local sites and how they work best. See The Thousand Placeblog Bet for more on the discussion she'll be leading. We'll also have a special announcement during her session. Thousand Placeblog Bet Slides
  • 10 a.m. -- Andrew Lih, a major Wikipedian and former Columbia and Hong Kong University new media professor, on what would be the ideal toolset for citizen journalism, and what’s still missing from the toolset.
  • 10:50-11:10 a.m. -- Break
  • 11:10 a.m. -- Steve Garfield, a top videoblogger, on using multimedia tools for better citizen journalism. Here's his summary of what he plans to cover.
  • 12-1:15 p.m. -- Lunch
  • 1:15-1:30 p.m. -- "Role model" lightning round: Quick descriptions about several current projects of note.
  • 1:30 p.m. -- Tom Stites, whose recent speech on media and democracy has raised such interest, on how (and if) citizen journalists can fill the enormous gaps being left by traditional media organizations. Here's his introduction.
  • 2:20 p.m. Phil Malone, co-director of the Clinical Program in Cyberlaw at Harvard Law School. He'll lead a conversation about citizen journalists and the law, including seeking to better understand areas in which the activities of citizen journalists are being chilled by legal concerns and ways in which they could benefit most from help in avoiding legal trouble. Here's Phil's summary.
  • 3:10-3:30 p.m. Break
  • 3:30 Ethan Zuckerman, co-founder of Global Voices Online, which helps "amplify, curate and aggregate the global conversation online." Ethan will lead a discussion on how citizen media people can make themselves heard amid all the online noise. AbovetheNoise session description...
  • 4:20 p.m. Wrap-up and more.

NOTE: All sessions were in Pound 102 at Harvard Law School.


You are welcome to list your name and affiliation below, though it's not required.

Send any questions about the substance of the event to Dan Gillmor and any questions about your registration or logistics to Erica George.

Reminder: You MUST register through our online signup form for your registration for August 7 to be processed. At this time, registration is closed, but you may use the registration form to sign up to the wait list.

Attendee Projects

To share information about your citizen media projects with fellow attendees, please see this page: Citizen Journalism/Attendee Projects.


To share information about examples of sites that may not be done by an attendee, see Citizen Journalism/Examples

Participant-Driven Coverage

  • Raines Cohen can bring tripod, wireless stick mic (a talking stick you can talk into), and miniDV camera

Live Webcast

IRC channel

  • irc.freenode.net#citmedia

Doc Searls' outline notes

Conference tag

Blogs of bloggers attending

Please add your blog (don't worry about the coding if you don't know wiki-formating, it will be cleaned up) Also there are additional bloggers/blogs on the list of attendees (although all are not attending).

This may be too soon, but would this section, or a sub-page, be an appropriate spot to organize resources so we can capture breakouts/sessions and provide our own citizen journalism coverage pool of the event? Potential methods to coordinate include notetaking, audio, video. Potential issues to work out include privacy and copyright. Raines Cohen, late July 2006

  • ==We are planning on having the sessions audio webcast and podcast via HLS's a/v services, so the audio side is set. But I think we'd definitely appreciate folks interested in taking video or in doing interviews, etc. during the event. I know that Colin Rhinesmith and Amanda Michel from Berkman are planning to do some interviews on the side for podcasting, as is Jenny Attiyeh from ThoughtCast. In my opinion, the more the merrier. EricaG 16:29, 31 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]