Influence Policy in Washington, D.C.: Be a Citizen Journalist - dummies

Influence Policy in Washington, D.C.: Be a Citizen Journalist

By Greg Rushford

Ordinary Americans are playing an increasing role in enhancing political media coverage, which plays a major part in how Washington, D.C., and policymaking function. The easiest way to get started is to launch a blog.

Sure, most blogs don’t get more than a few curious (or accidental) visitors, and you probably won’t be breaking much news (many journalists share this fate), but you can still exercise your constitutional right to speak loud and clear about whatever issues you feel passionately about. Several amateur scribes have even managed to turn their initial online forays into well-paid commentary careers.

Citizen journalism is not limited to typing in your pajamas in your parents’ basement. Plenty of strange political behavior has been captured by everyday people with a camera at the ready, and little-known facts have been uncovered by those with far too much time on their hands.

Naturally, you don’t want to carry this too far and end up like the kid who got a year in prison for hacking into Sarah Palin’s e-mail account. But you don’t have to commit cybercrime or dig through dumpsters to become an occasional citizen journalist.