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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

France: citizen journalism arrives

As French quality dailies experience serious circulation declines, their former public is being furnished with their own voice. In the spirit of Korea's OhmyNews, Agoravox hit the Internet on May 20. The French daily Libération describes its new competitor as "one of the first completely free European citizen journalism initiatives on a grand scale." The 150 to 200 contributors the site has already registered are essentially "blogueurs," but come from varying backgrounds, from the unemployed to company bosses. Carlo Revelli, the experiment's founder, said "We're counting on growing, finding new authors, new articles, coming from associations, local groups, and simple citizens." Registration is free and each new "journalist" has the chance to post a short biography and photo. They can then write about whatever they feel like, their article eventually being placed in the proper news category which range from politics and economics to culture and sports. Agoravox stems from the experienced French internet consulting company Cybion, of which Revelli is co-founder. He and his Cybion partner Joel de Rosnay, have adapted ideas from other citizen journalism ventures, including OhmyNews and various sites in the United States. De Rosnay declares that citizens are inventing a "true democracy of communication" with such sites. Libération closes its article abruptly, asking if these sites are to be taken seriously. Considering its loss of readership, Libération may want to follow Agoravox's story. If it catches on, it may just be the tool that newspapers can adopt to revive interest in French quality journalism and a learning experience for other countries.

Source: Libération (in French)

Posted by john burke on June 15, 2005 at 04:16 PM in a. Citizen journalism, c. Multimedia convergence, h. Young readers / New readers, k. Circulation and newspaper launches, n. Online strategies | Permalink


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