Forum to discuss Heights Observer as a model of “citizen journalism”

You, the reader, might not have realized this but the Heights Observer is part of a new phenomenon called “citizen journalism.”

Written and edited by its readers, the Heights Observer is published by FutureHeights, an organization dedicated to “a vibrant and sustainable future for Cleveland Heights through innovative ideas and civic engagement.” This publication, and particularly the way it is produced, fits the definition of citizen journalism coined by media analyst Jay Rosen, professor at New York University and author of the blog Press Think:

“When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another, that’s citizen journalism.”

On Sunday, March 15, the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland will host a forum on citizen journalism, using the Heights Observer as its chief example. Publisher Deanna Bremer Fisher will be on the panel, as will Journalism Professor Richard Hendrickson of John Carroll University, also a member of the Heights Observer’s advisory board. Moderating the panel and participating in the discussion will be Carrie Buchanan, a journalist and journalism educator who is on the Heights Observer’s advisory and editorial boards.

The forum will be held at the First Unitarian Church, 21600 Shaker Blvd. in Shaker Heights, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. on Sunday, March 15. Following a presentation by the panel there will be a question and answer period. The public is invited to attend. There is no admission charge.

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Volume 2, Issue 3, Posted 1:10 AM, 02.19.2009