Old newspaper hands had a lot of trouble understanding Internet as a competitor in 1990s. How could nerdy computer networks offer past as fundamental as a newspaper? It all seemed absurd at that time. But the fact is that the so called “internet” thing makes organising the groups trivially simple. A mass e-mail, a Facebook group or an online petition can be creates within no time and essentially at no cost. Traditional news organisations used to profit from connections that create and connect these groups. For example, anyone interested in knowing a government policy needs a way to find the information he wants, and newspaper made that connection. It is a fact that more college graduates under the age of fifty connect to the Internet every day than regularly watch one of the network news broadcasts. The Internet, with its headline-news format and its capacity for quick updates, is clearly attractive to younger news consumers. The Internet’s structured sorting ability to provide more depth on a subject and inclusion of multimedia content along with is appealing. Thus keeping the current trend on mind, Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) has rolled out an initiative under the title Citizen Media Network (CMN) which aims at nurturing the Citizen Journalism in India and South Asia and provides the right ICT tools for empowering digital journalism and techniques.

The noble mission of Citizen Media Network revolves around the following ideas:

  • CMN provides a platform for developing motivational development stories from rural lives.
  • It offers training for rural community development activists.
  • It provides training through workshops for rural reporters to develop effective stories and provides them with the right tools to publish them digitally.
  • In collaboration with IGNOU, it offers Citizen Journalism Course for aspiring rural reporters.
  • It provides training to rural reporters on powerful TV and Web news production.
  • Many workshops on training and skill development are conducted for rural reporters.