Tools for citizen journalism

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Tools for citizen journalism enable people other than traditional mass media professionals to gather, edit and share information through internet and other low-cost publishing systems.


Blog hosting services

The following services offer online hosting of blogs. Users do not need any additional tools beyond a standard web browser.

  • Blogger, owned by Google, is a free online service that hosts millions of blogs. It is easy to set up and use through a standard web browser, but its features are rather limited.
  • LiveJournal offers free online blog hosting, plus an additional for-pay service of $2/month for users who want additional storage space for photos and audio.

Blogging tools

The following tools can be installed and used as part of a paid web hosting service.


Blog search engines

  • Technorati offer timely searching of blog postings in multiple languages.

Content management systems

Content management systems have more features than blogging tools. For example, they may enable multiple individuals to post content under separate bylines, or include features such as a calendar of events, collaborative editing and ranking of articles, discussion forums, and built-in multimedia capabilities. Some content management systems are also "modular": they are designed so that people with a bit of programming knowledge can add new features to the core system.



  • Demotix Demotix is a space for independent photographers and citizen-journalists to share their news images and license them to the global media.
  • SpyMedia offers an assignment service for photographers in the United States.
  • Open source CMScontent management system.
  • Flickr lets you upload your photos and view photos that other people have uploaded. Photos can be tagged using a folksonomy classification system that makes it easy to find and group photos by topic. Flickr also provides an Application Programming Interface (API) that lets third-programmers write their own programs for presenting public Flickr data (including photos and tags) on their own websites.
  • GIMP, free software image editing program similar to Photoshop



  • YouTube allows people to upload video for free.
  • Blip TV lets people upload video and also store it permanently for posterity at the Internet Archive.
  • EngageMedia - focussed on social/environmental issues in the Asia-Pacific


Collaborative research

  • iamnews tool for crowdsourcing of news. Enabling publishers to solicit submissions from journalists, bloggers and photographers―videos, photos, links, notes, and full articles.

News feeds

  • Newscribe allows people to discover and collaborate over news that matters. Be part of a community of citizen journalists doing story reviews.

Political data

Website widgets

  • Socrata Free data platform. Allows easy creation of filters, visualizations and maps, as well as API access and one click download of standard file types such as csv or xls. Social Data Player is embeddable in websites or blogs, and can contain data tables, charts or maps created from data set.

Place blogging


  • PBwiki (Peanut Butter Wiki). See the PBwiki Tour. "You can make your own free private or public wiki in just a few seconds."

Traditional journalism

  • CNN has created a CNN Exchange page where people submit video, photos, quotes and commentary for broadcast consideration. If accepted, the submissions are aired with contributors' bylines as “iReports” on CNN, CNN Pipeline, CNN Radio, and CNN International.
  • MSNBC accepts submissions from citizen journalists on its Citizen Journalists Report page.

Other SourceWatch Resources

External links