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How To Become An Online Journalist

Updated on November 28, 2016

citizen journalism

be an online journalist

The way news is produced and consumed is changing rapidly and digital or online journalism now plays a prominent role in the process of news gathering and distribution.

If you want to work as an online journalist or what some have called a citizen journalist or one,, call digital journalist, then there are a few steps to take.

The first step is to hone your writing skills, keep your work clear and concise. Remmebr the Five Ws, who, what, when, where and why.

Do not simply cut and paste a story that someone else as written give it your own personal touch.

You may want to begin by setting up your own blog on services such as blogger or WordPress. The choices of service is up to you, but if you want to get paid, then a blogger blog, which allows you to run Google ads, may be what you want but there are other option. Do some research and make your decision.

If there is a beat that interests you, technology, the environment, energy, food, or sports you will want to consider beat blogging.

The Internet, the web 2.0 version is driven by user input and you will find that people have considerable information they want to share. The beta blog lets your readers help to develop the story. The readers may even tell you about a breaking story.

The world and especially the Internet are full of stories, get used to reading the news several times a day and if something grabs your attention, do not settle for just one source but look for three different sources on the same story and from them create your own.

There are a number of sites that welcome writers to join and submit their stories. Each ahs their own set of rules, read them and follow them. Again pick the one or more than one that suits you. Helium, Associated Content and Newsvine are examples.

In addition to maintaining a blog which you can use to link to your work on other sites as well as post stories, you will want to sign up for Twitter. The account is free and you can let people you know, know what you are doing. The limit to each message is 140 characters but that is enough.

Now, if you are really serious about becoming an online, citizen or as I prefer a digital journalist, let me tell you about my favourite site. (DJ), DJ pays its digital journalists.

I have been a DJ since 2007 and find it one of more engaging activities each day. I get to write stories that interest me and get paid for doing it.

The people behind DJ also provide tips, story ideas via the news desk and are regularly tweaking the site to make it even easier and more productive to use.

So, if you do want to produce and distribute news online, there are opportunities out there put together a package that works for you and start reporting.


Submit a Comment

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    I see some value in citizen journalism and some dangers, the lack of quality and accuracy being among the dangers.

  • mytipen profile image

    mytipen 6 years ago from Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A

    Citizen journalism is the future of the news media because the present media has been taken over by special interests and now report the special interests' propaganda as news. This is the reason the people have become very ignorant.

    There are sites out there leading the citizen journalism way like youtube and newsparticipation. Newsparticipation is better because it only does news while youtube does news as a side show and most news videos get lost in the jumble of videos. Besides, most people who go to youtube are looking for entertainment and the next dancing baby hit.

    As someone who posts news stories, I've realized that newsparticipation is the best place to get it seen. You can check it out here