I’m not going to link to any offenders, but my consistent observation is that nearly all “citizen journalism” sites fall somewhere between spam blog and crappy community of suckers. If you feel the urge to provide people with a platform to “do” community journalism, don’t. You’re not needed (see below). If you really, really must go ahead, read Evan Prodromou’s seven rules for commercial wikis (which apply to any community site) seven hundred times, then think about it for a long time.
If you feel the need to “do” citizen journalism, stay away from sites that claim they help you “do” citizen journalism. You absolutely do not need them. Instead:
- Write on your own blog.
- Write on a site of, by, and for some community (check if they are following the seven rules linked above; it should be obvious).
- If you want a generic platform, write on Wikinews.
- Some reader blogs hosted by established media aren’t that bad, but be careful.