Monday, August 20, 2007

OhmyNews marks 7 years of citizen journalism

In 2000, Oh Yeon-Ho founded OhmyNews, which has since become probably the most important example of ‘citizen journalism’ in the world. The Korean website is run by a professional staff of editors and reporters but the majority of news is contributed by citizen reporters.

An English-language version of the site, OhmyNews International, has around 1,000 contributors from 89 countries. It is funded by advertisers who wish to make contact with its predominantly younger readership.

According to Oh, “Citizen participatory journalism is not about tactics — it's about philosophy. Professionals should change their mind. If they change only their tactics, it will not work well. The philosophy should change. The readers can be equal to professional reporters in news production because in my definition, a reporter is not some exotic species, some special person. The ordinary person can be a reporter. They have his or her own news stories and they can deliver it."

Recently Ohmy news has launched research into independent citizen journalism around the world. “OhmyNews also plans to establish a global network of international citizen media Web sites in the process while developing a global resource site of citizen journalism with relevant content in the future.”

(Photo of Oh Yeon-ho from Joi Ito, Flickr (CC licence)