This website is an initiative of J-Lab


Research into Citizen Media

Find here emerging qualitative and quantitative research into citizen media ventures.

New Voices: What Works

This report examines the outcomes of the 46 projects that were launched with New Voices funding from mid-2005 through mid-2010. Simply put, we examined what worked and what didnít, what made for robust sites or led to disappointment. We offer tips to help other startups and recommendations for Knight and other foundations based on what J-Lab has learned in mentoring these startups.

New Media Makers Toolkit

This learning module is filled with original reporting that will help you learn about the innovative community news initiatives that are cropping up around the United States - and securing grants from foundations that have not traditionally supported journalism. In the case studies and accompanying videos, youíll meet citizen journalists who have launched news sites in Boston; Deerfield, N.H.; New Haven, Conn.; and Chappaqua, N.Y. And youíll learn how professional journalists have launched news initiatives that either partner with or supplement their metro news outlets.

New Entrepreneurs: New Perspectives on News

J-Labís New Media Women Entrepreneurs Initiative undertook this study to understand how women are interacting with news, participating in the news, creating the news and consuming the news. Funded by the McCormick Foundation, the study explored perspectives and behavior with regard to both new and traditional media. Using focus groups and in-depth interviews among women news consumers and news creators, the research lends important insights into the impact the changing media landscape is having on how journalism is being practiced and how it is being consumed.

Exploring a Networked Journalism Collaborative in Philadelphia

In the nationís sixth largest city, a vibrant media landscape exists with niche reporting sites, legacy newspapers and an active community of creative technologists. But there is also a notable decline in public affairs reporting and little collaboration between these media entities. The William Penn Foundation in Philadelphia commissioned J-Lab to conduct this study of the cityís media landscape and the state of public affairs reporting and make recommendations for a possible media investment strategy. This report details J-Labís key findings and recommendations.

Citizen Journalism: Back to the Future?

While the term "citizen journalism" is new, the concept is literally as old as the rocks. The cave dweller who painted a bison on his cavern wall was unlikely a fulltime chronicler of that eon's events - he was more likely a hunter who wanted to share his adventure. University of Missouri School of Journalism Professor and founder Clyde Bentley examines the concept of citizen journalism; from the dusty cave-dweller beginnings to Facebook to what the future holds for newsroom journalists. Commissioned by The Carnegie-Knight Task Force on the Future of Journalism Education.

Citizen Media: Fad or the Future of News?

A Ford Foundation funded study of citizen media sites in the United States. In-depth interviews were conducted with 31 founders of and contributors to citizen media sites, and hundreds of site contributors were invited to take part in an online survey.

Frontiers of Innovation in Community Engagement

The Center for Citizen Media created this report on how traditional news organizations are encouraging audience involvement. The report was written by Lisa Williams, founder of and, with Center for Citizen Media Director Dan Gillmor and journalist Jane Mackay.

Hartsville Today: The first year of a small-town citizen-journalism site

Journalism's future may well be in the hands of your readers already, in their cell phones, their iPods, their digital and video cameras. We have become a world of content creators, and if you don't find a way to engage them in your product, they may well establish their own.