New book in citizen journalism world. Or to be more precise – Citizen journalism novel written by K. Paul Mallasch.
In his biography says :
K. Paul Mallasch considers himself a journalist, poet, and pilgrim – not necessarily in that order. He’s been a poet since the time he could write, served seven years at a newspaper (Gannett owned), and has been committing acts of journalism on his own since 2005.
All about the novel you can read in our interview.
Q: How did you get interested in citizen journalism ?
A: After working for a Gannett newspaper for seven years, I became disillusioned about the state of media in America. I decided there had to be a better way, so I started off on my own after my position at the newspaper was eliminated. Being downsized was probably the best thing to ever happen to me. Even before leaving the newspaper, I was very interested in Journalism as Conversation, which is a lot of what citizen journalism is about.
Q: What inspired you to write your Citizen Journalism Novel ?
A: After spending seven years wandering in the wilderness, I decided to take all my failures and document them in a book while at the same time trying to highlight the changes happening in the media landscape currently. I was inspired by Hunter S. Thompson, Henry Miller and many others who wrote autobiographical novels.
Q: Give us few more details regarding the book.
A: This is an autobiographical novel, a work of fiction.
Downsized in 2005 from a midsize daily newspaper in the Midwest and on the run from a soon-to-be ex-wife, intrepid webmaster Paul Malinski transforms into kpaul, a man determined to start a news and information source from the ground up, something truly by the people and for the people.
Along the way, he learns a lot about journalism, greed, love, black holes, Occupy and much more. Perhaps most important, he learns about himself and that one person alone can’t do everything. This narrative is the beginning of a conversation that will hopefully help shape Journalism for years to come.
This novel describes the continued decline of big media and the rise of “citizen journalism” as seen through the eyes of a man who believes that Journalism is much too important to leave to large corporations. This book is for journalists, ex-journalists, and anyone who wishes there was a better system of news dissemination in this nation and around the world.
Q: Do you think that cooperation between traditional and citizen journalism is possible ?
A: Yes and no. The traditional media that is set up now usually looks down on “citizen journalists.” While they may participate with them in some ways (CNN’s iReporter), I have to wonder if it’s just about getting free content and revenue from the citizens. I think that cooperation between trained/professional journalists and “citizen journalists” is key and where journalism is heading. The big media companies that don’t believe in this may continue to decline in the years and decades ahead.
Q: According to you, are citizen journalists enough ethical and accurate while they cover news ?
A: I can’t give a blanket statement covering all citizen journalists out there in the world. I would like to hope there are ethics and accuracy is more important than speed, but I’m sure this isn’t always the case. That’s one of the reasons I wrote my book and started kNewspapers. I want to establish a community of like-minded individuals in one place online so that we can all talk about the future of journalism.
Q: Given your experience, do you think that journalism will change in accordance with the new developments ?
A: Yes! And this is why it’s so exciting to be a journalist right now. As long as the tenets of Journalism from the past – the good ones – are maintained and new ones are written to deal with all the information available, I think there’s definitely hope for journalism. I’ve been able to survive and help people here and there on my own for over seven years now by committing acts of journalism, but as more and more people like me come together and start working together, even bigger changes will happen.
Q: Do you plan new citizen journalism projects ?
A: Now that the book is done, I will be concentrating on Muncie Free Press and kNewspapers. I hope the latter becomes a home for many citizen journalists around the world as the conversation about media continues. As more people read the kNewspapers book, I hope it draws them to the kNewspapers.com website where working together we come up with solutions to protect the people of the world.
Q: What’s your view of citizen journalism in the future ?
A: I want to break up the media ownership. Instead of half a dozen or so companies owning 90%+ of the media landscape, I want to see a loosely affiliated group of 50 to 200 (or more) owners around the United States. The more owners in the mix, the more competition there will be and, as a result, more innovation. The people, the citizens, are the most important part of the media equation. However, citizen journalism outfits need money to operate. By working together, I think the future of journalist is bright.
Q: Where interested people can buy your book ?