Hosted by The Edge at the State Library of Queensland, and philanthropically funded, CitizenJ is a pioneering new-media journalism project offering support, training, publication and experimentation opportunities, and hosting the monthly Walkley Media Talks.

CitizenJ aims to equip everyday people with the skills to become credible citizen journalists.

What is citizen journalism?

Citizen journalism is simply people telling real stories about their community. It might be an eyewitness account to something newsworthy, the story of a local person/organisation doing good work, a review of a local play or exhibition, or an article about an important issue in your community.

Why is citizen journalism important?

The media is no longer the only entity with the power to define what’s going on and what’s important to us on a day-to-day basis. We all have the power to add new perspectives and define for ourselves who we are as a community and what’s important to us.

Journalism is a critical community forum for keeping governments, development, business, the community sector and democracy in check. We all know what the power of the media can do. As a citizen journalist, that power is in your hands.

If you don’t tell the stories that you think should be told, who will?

Already creating content in some form and want to take it to the next level? Have some ideas but not sure where to start? Then CitizenJ is for you.

What does CitizenJ offer?

What stories do we want?

What equipment can you borrow?

  • Broadcast quality video camera with tripod, lapel mics and pelican case
  • Canon 60D DSLR camera with tripod, flash, remote shutter release, bag
  • Four audio recorders including Zoom H2, Zoom H4N, iPhone 4 mic adapter
  • Two iPads
  • A laptop
  • Stationery
  • Soon to come – AR Drone HD camera

About the CitizenJ Community Newsroom

  • Visit any time The Edge is open (Tue-Sat 12-8pm, Sun 12-6pm)
  • Three PC computers available, power for laptops, free wifi, lounge area
  • CitizenJ staff on duty 12-5pm Tuesday – Friday
  • Arrange an appointment with a facilitator, by emailing

What software can you use?

  • Photoshop for photos
  • Premiere for video
  • Audition for audio
  • Plus other Adobe CS programs

Get involved by:

More about CitizenJ

The program  aims to recognise libraries as a key part in the information services industry and to explore their potential for generating, supporting and preserving commentary on issues of significance to society.

The program is broadly grouped into three streams: a newsroom, an experimentation fund and a public program.

The newsroom is a centre for experimentation across production, publication and training. The newsroom is run by Newsroom Coordinator, Ursula Skjonnemand, and is located on level 2 at The Edge, State Library of Queensland. The newsroom is also supported by part-time Newsroom Facilitators, each working one day per week.

On a daily basis the newsroom will also provide office space and access to resources such as cameras, recording equipment and editing suites for program participants. Participants will also have access to one-on-one consultations with the newsroom staff to refine and develop their journalism skills.

The stories from contributors in the program will published through on a dedicated publishing platform custom made for the program. There will also be the opportunity for content to be published through media partner channels and by other media outlets through creative commons licencing.

The program will also offer access to a $30,000 experimentation fund. Applicants can apply to have an experimental journalism program up to the value of $10, 000 supported through the fund. The experimentation fund will support a minimum of three journalism experiments, with a fourth program potentially to be crowd funded.

Finally, the public program will consist of a series of monthly talks delivered in partnership with the Walkley Foundation, as well as a range of workshops based around journalism. The talks will explore a range of issues topical in today’s media environment. They will run from August 2012 to June 2013. The workshop program will focus on a range of basic, intermediate and advanced skill sets including balance and ethics in journalism, writing skills and journalism for mobile devices.

The model tested over the course of the CitizenJ program will potentially have application to be delivered across public libraries in Queensland.

The CitizenJ program is proudly supported by Tim Fairfax AM and the Queensland Library Foundation.

2 Comments Leave a comment
  • Claire Hielscher


    I’m looking to contact Ursula regarding a suggested she presented to me at the last Citizen J talk.

    She raised the idea of my coming into mentor occasionally. Would be delighted to talk about this more. She can reach me on the email I’ve provided.

    Many thanks


  • Peter Wharton

    The CitizenJ concept is a great idea – powerfully inspirational and beautifully articulated.

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