Be a Citizen Journalist

Washington, DC Citizen Journalists

Welcome to the world of citizen journalism. This short web page is designed to get you started as a citizen journalist. The Cleveland Park Listserv, the largest neighborhood email list in the country, in collaboration with NowPublic, the leading citizen journalism service, has launched a Washington, DC citizen journalism partnership.

If you witness local breaking news in the Washington, DC area; if you attend government or civic meetings; if you're at a sports game; if you visit Capitol Hill; if you're at an arts or cultural event -- then you can be a Washington, DC correspondent for NowPublic by reporting on what you've seen and where you've been. Did you have a Kafkaesque encounter at the DMV? Was your trip through Dulles a breeze or just the opposite? There's news waiting to be reported wherever you happen to be.

NowPublic is establishing a Washington, DC bureau --the first such bureau for a citizen journalism service-- and you are welcome to participate. NowPublic's news is distributed by the Associated Press, which pays writers and photographs for the material that they use.

Start here: That's the special registration page for Washington, DC area residents. We also have an FAQ.

If you're wondering how to report on the news as a citizen journalist, NowPublic has all the tools you need. Traditional journalists can't be everywhere all the time, which is one of the reasons why citizen journalists are so important. Seasoned politicians are often on guard when they're being interviewed by regular journalists, but may be more themselves, more relaxed, when talking with citizen journalists. Local news is very important to communities and neighborhoods, but professional reporters often aren't as aware of what's going on in the community as are the people who live and work there. News happens in unexpected places and at unexpected times.

You can report through images as well as words if you have your digital camera with you. Your story does not have to have to be complete for you to report it, because you can update your report when more information comes in. So, for example, if you see a helicopter circling overhead and hear police sirens around -- report that. Then, when you know exactly what they're looking for, add that information.

As a citizen journalist you'll see the world in new ways and notice events and people you never noticed before. NowPublic calls this "crowd powered" news. Local news is important. And not just to our community, but to the rest of the country. What's happening in Washihgton, DC may or may not be similar to what's occurring in other places. But the only way to know is to report and share that news.

Washington, DC's citizen jouralists are invited to particate in our virtual newsroom via Skype. Please email us your Skype contact information and we'll invite you into our newsroom.

You can watch a short video about being a citizen journalist here. There is also a good article about how to recognize news when you see it. If you're wondering about the potential and promise of citizen journalism, this article may give you some insight into that. If you want to read some articles written by a local citizen journalist, click here. Then start reporting!

Questions? We have some answers on our citizen journalist questions and answers page. You can also email us.

A tip: Add the tag dc to your articles so that they can appear on the local, Washington, DC page,

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