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In my years of editing the copy of citizen journalists and other writers, one of the most persistent problems is where to put commas. Since the use of commas can be quite confusing, I thought I’d spell out a couple of journalistic rules regarding those troublesome punctuation marks. Use a comma to introduce a complete one-sentence quote, such as: Cormier said, “I can’t believe we got 2 inches of rain in Parker over the last 24 hours.” Do not use the comma if you use only a partial quote, such as: Cormier said Parker “got 2 inches of rain” on July 4. If you put the attribute after the quote, put a comma instead of a period at the end of the quote, followed by the attribution. And commas always go inside the quotation marks. So it would be: “I can’t believe we got 2 inches of rain in Parker over the last 24 hours,” Cormier said. In a list of items, use commas to separa... (more)

Energized About Citizen Journalism

Sonya Rehman. Ever heard of her? Many in Pakistan have.  Rehman is a graduate from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, a journalist from Lahore, Pakistan and a blogger with over 157,000 hits at this writing. http://sonyarehman.wordpress.com/. You can hear from Rehman in an 11-minute YouTube presentation. She asks, "Can tangible change take place? Yes it can." And she gives evidence of citizen journalists who use cell phone cameras to make serious contributions to life in Pakistan. CLICK HERE to view her YouTube presentation and realize her passion.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jr7KLGS_8C0 The website www.pakistanileaders.com tells you more about this interesting writer/journalist/innovator. It says Sonya Rehman "has been writing in leading English dailies as a ‘freelance feature writer' apart from hosting a radio show and anchoring a television... (more)

QuePasa.com Spearheads Citizen Journalism for Latinos

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Sept. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- To meet the growing global demand for online citizen journalism, QuePasa Corporation announced today the launch of the first, Latino citizen journalism website on the World Wide Web, QuePasa News Network (http://www.qpnn.tv/). The addition of QPNN.tv makes QuePasa.com a stronger presence in the Latino multimedia market, and provides advertisers with additional, targeted access to our fast growing and increasingly affluent audience. Fueled by video contributions from QuePasa.com's citizen journalists, QPNN.tv empowers Latinos to upload video reports covering breaking news, politics, sports, human interest, and entertainment. "QPNN.tv provides our members with a real-time opportunity to report and comment on, as well as witness events impacting their lives," said Robert B. Stearns, Chairman and Chief Executive Offi... (more)

Google Considered Buying the New York Times: Report

Oh, my sainted aunt. Google thought about buying the New York Times, according to Barron’s, which got it from somebody else’s interview with Ken Auletta, author of Google: The End of the World as We Know It. Reportedly the hands of Google co-founder Larry Page and CEO Eric Schmidt were stayed by the thought that the deal would “sabotage” Google’s status as a neutral source. Auletta, who generally writes for the New Yorker, said the reason they were interested is the fact that “Google’s search engine depends on good information.” ... (more)

A Cold, Wet Blanket of Politics Covers the Copenhagen Climate Summit

The headlines say it all… "Further commitment needed to break negotiation deadlock." The rich nations vs. the poor nations. Industrialists vs. environmentalists. And at the end of the day, looking out over the Pacific Ocean towards Catalina Island from Long Beach, the dense brown sludge of polluted air is a constant reminder we are dumping horrifying amounts of human waste into the oceans and air. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says "world policymakers do not have to choose between a clean environment and economic growth." Schwarzenegger believes people worried about climate change should pay more attention to companies, universities and "ordinary folks" and not put so much emphasis on a multinational consensus. (AP) If you listen to the entrepreneurs and innovators in Silicon Valley, they would tend to agree with Governor Schwarzenegger. Green tech is be... (more)

Deadlock at Copenhagen Climate Summit

The headlines say it all… “Further commitment needed to break negotiation deadlock.” The rich nations vs. the poor nations. Industrialists vs. environmentalists. And at the end of the day, looking out over the Pacific Ocean towards Catalina Island from Long Beach, the dense brown sludge of polluted air is a constant reminder we are dumping horrifying amounts of human waste into the oceans and air. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says “world policymakers do not have to choose between a clean environment and economic growth.” Schwarzenegger believes people worried about climate change should pay more attention to companies, universities and “ordinary folks” and not put so much emphasis on a multinational consensus. (AP) If you listen to the entrepreneurs and innovators in Silicon Valley, they would tend to agree with Governor Schwarzenegger. Green tech is bec... (more)

Gitmo Comes to Mom's Neighborhood

The proposed transfer by the federal government of some prisoners from Guantanomo Bay to a underused state prison facility in Thomson, Illinois hits home for me, literally. My father was from Thomson, and my mom lives there now. She could walk from her house to the prison in about 15 minutes if she wanted to. Thomson is a Mississippi River town, but unlike most, safe from the river. A state campground borders the river, with the town itself lying a few hundred feet above the river. The Army Corps of Engineers has had a long presence here, digging a channel to widen the river decades ago, and still maintaining a small office on Main St. Thomson is located in Carroll County, the county seat of which is my hometown, Mount Carroll. The county defines the term "rural," with around 17,000 inhabitants, and a single stoplight that was put in a few years ago in the county's la... (more)

Citizen Journalists Often Suffer

Citizen Journalism on Ulitzer Citizen Journalism on Ulitzer - In the USA and the rest of the free world the debate about citizen journalism surrounds things like accuracy, sourcing, journalistic standards, reliability, consistency, etc. While the discussion about citizen journalism in totalitarian countries like Iran, Myanmar, China and Venezuela is about how to stay out of jail, how to avoid beatings and how to keep from “disappearing.” Canadian Blogger Jeff Jedras is in attendance at the World Blogging Forum in Bucharest, Romania Nov. 9 – 12 and appeared on a panel with bloggers from China, Egypt, Finland and Holland. The following information is gleaned from his report found on GlobalPost.com. Chinese blogger Zhou Shuguang reported that China has 40,000 police that monitor the Internet full-time. They have blocked over 500,000 websites from the people. It’s calle... (more)

Handbook for Citizen Journalists – COMING SOON!

A tremendous amount of research, writing and editing has gone into this landmark book for citizen journalists being written by the National Association of Citizen Journalists’ Ron Ross and Susan Cormier. However, the book is not finished. In fact, it is still undergoing some serious rewrites and additions. Briefly, Ross writes from his perspective as a former publisher and hyper-local news website owner in need of citizen journalists. Cormier writes from her 28 years of experience in the media arts, including stints as a broadcast writer, legislative bureau chief, city editor and now citizen journalist. But before the book goes to layout and design, YOUR INPUT IS REQUESTED! Please take a look at the outline for the book and then click here to take a survey concerning this product. YOUR INPUT is VALUABLE BEYOND WORDS. We want this book to answer the questions that ci... (more)

Do You Have What it Takes to be a Citizen Journalist?

Citizen Journalism on Ulitzer If you’re seeking wealth and fame, journalism might not be your best choice. No one enters the field to get rich, and only a few ever become famous. An entry-level journalist will barely earn enough to survive if a job is even available in today’s shrinking journalism job market. Even experienced beat reporters don’t live in the rich part of town. The only people receiving truly handsome wages in the news media today are celebrity journalists seen on network and cable television news stations. Fame is also elusive for most journalists. Only a few become as renowned as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two reporters from The Washington Post who broke the story of the Watergate break-ins in the 1970s. Their front-page articles were responsible for forcing President Richard Nixon to resign. But what other famous journalists can you name? Th... (more)

Newspaper and Magazine Circulations Will Get Hit Hard By "New Media" Tsunami

New Media on Ulitzer Take a plastic world globe and place a pin on roughly where Silicon Valley is. Then tie a piece of yarn to the pin and extend it to any country around the Globe. With a quick visual conversion, the length of the yarn shows the approximate number of years for that particular country to get hit with the "new-media" tsunami forming in the United States. What am I talking about? Europe and Asia Historically Followed U.S. Two Years Behind Well, traditionally for any technology trend to reach from the United States to Europe and Asia took a couple of years. If we observe the recent "made in the USA" tech trends, let's say virtualization or cloud computing, which we happen to follow very closely, we see a two-year delayed adoption rate in Europe. We also see Asia and the rest of the Far East catching up surprisingly faster than the rest of the world. ... (more)