Big Questions

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Q. What are some of the ways b-to-b media companies can harness the increasing clout of citizen journalism?

A. Many editors and publishers are still suspicious of the changes being wrought on newspapers and magazines by the Internet?especially so when the topic is citizen journalism. I still encounter some in our business who consider citizen journalism more a threat to the authority of traditional media than an opportunity to engage with passionate, knowledgeable and, yes, opinionated "civilians." Reporting and writing has always relied on the exchange of information; unfortunately?or so it seems?that exchange is rowdier than it used to be.

Q. What are some of the stumbling blocks to building relationships with citizen journalists?

A. There is always more to the story. One of the tenets of b-to-b journalism is that our reporters and editors have incomparable experience and insight, that they know the businesses they are covering better than anyone else. Citizen journalism suggests otherwise. Some people—editors, publishers, readers and, most frighteningly, advertisers

For the same reason an aspiring band will set up a page on MySpace, video and film professionals will soon join the community to showcase their work. At least that is the objective of the publishing and editorial teams at Prism Business Media's Digital Content Producer and Millimeter and their combined Web site,

may think the value of b-to-b journalism in particular and traditional media in general is thereby lessened. But does anybody really expect reporters—or for that matter, bloggers—to be omniscient? The answer is accepting that more information is better than less, no matter who provided the information, and that the best journalists are those who make the most sense of the story.

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