Citizen journalism’s mother lode?

The Knight Citizen News Network, aka, debuted this week with a stellar list of contributors and an impressive compilation of resources. If you’re doing independent media by all means check it out. is an outgrowth of J-Lab, a University of Maryland project that has focused on the how-to aspect of grassroots media. The new site will presumably feature that educational and instructive material plus offer opportunities for independent media startups to commune.

The money behind all this comes from the Knight Brothers Foundation, which is focusing its considerable assets on seeding what all optimists hope will be a flowering of community and communications through the proliferation of media tools.

Citizen scribes getting paid? Meanwhile for those who wish to communicate but would like some cash, a Q&A in Online Journalism Review puts the spotlight on a new type of feature syndicate, that buys (dollars not specified) content from contributors. Get the details through OJR contributor Tish Grier interview with Associated Content founder Luke Beatty. Here’s a snip in which Beatty says:

“We’re not focused on offering on-the-spot citizen coverage of breaking news, though we do have some of that. We offer more of what newspapers call “service” info and feature material, including a lot of “how-to” articles and videos from real people who’ve “been there and done that.” A great example is this article, which won AC’s first annual “People’s Media Award” for top content of 2006… it’s a really well-written, poignant first-person account of how not to freak out if you find out you’re HIV positive, by Barry Freiman.”

Grier gives Associated Content a good writeup. Thanks to for flagging her piece.

Internet video regulation by feds? A bit in Paid Content suggests that there is some debate about whether or not the Federal Communications Commission should have what I gather to be fairness and smut rules for video on the Web.

Expect more annoying video ads. A Center for Media Research report says web video ads get “twice the interaction” as still images. I say, “Wow.” Then I look at the numbers and I wonder what there is to cheer about a click-thru rate under one percent. Here’s a snippet:

“Consumers are roughly twice as likely to play (or replay if a video starts automatically) an online video ad unit, as they are to click through on a standard JPG or GIF ad (the standard CTR for image ads is between 0.1 and 0.2 percent).”

So you wanna be in pictures? A concise report in Paid Content will tell you the latest on which networks are uplifting what sorts of user-generated content. I didn’t see talk of payment so these sounds like beauty contest motifs, in which entrants imagine they will be the next Amanda Congdon. Hey, it happened once. It’s bound to happen again!