Citizen Journalism Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What is citizen journalism and how does it threaten the future of traditional journalism? This lesson plan explores this question using an informative text lesson. An activity gives students hands-on experience with citizen journalism.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'citizen journalism'
  • list the advantages of citizen journalism
  • discuss the disadvantages of citizen journalism


30 to 60 minutes for instruction and up to two weeks for the activity

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.


  • A recent example of citizen journalism recorded by a member of the public and posted to social media
  • An example of coverage of the very same event by a professional journalist
  • Paper copies of the Citizen Journalism: Advantages & Disadvantages text lesson
  • Photocopies of the worksheet from the associated text lesson

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