Citizen journalism is not only about public citizens being involved in news gathering and reporting. It has facets and variations.
To avoid confusion, Steve Outing of Poynter.org wrote about the types of citizen journalism to avoid confusion and to help media institutions and laymen alike to understand the concepts about it. He “layered” them into 11, which I’ll summarize into 2 categories: has mainstream media involvement and purely independent reporting.
Has mainstream media involvement
This category is basically about mainstream media institutions which allows the public to participate in journalism.
One of the defining feats of citizen journalism is that it’s mostly found online, where a lot of people has the freedom to post information. A lot of news Web sites allowed interactive users to post comments on the articles written by professional journalists. The comments ranges from public opinions to additional information that was overlooked by the professional reporter.
Examples of news Web sites in the Philippines which allow netizens to post comments are Rappler.com and Inquirer.net.
Media institutions can also include a segment wherein the general public can write or submit their own stories. One example of this is 24 Oras’ Youscoop. Newsroom staff can also invite general readers to write about their own opinions pertaining to a certain issue. One example of this is Rappler’s iSpeak.
A citizen can write about his/her experience about a certain relevant issue which a professional journalist can use for his/her report (e.g. a massive accident in which the public citizen is a witness). A professional journalist can also work hand-in-hand with general readers who are experts- who are public citizen themselves- to do the reporting.