You can't tell the players these days without an Ajax scorecard. And that's what the folks at the Knight Citizen News Network have just launched, with the work done by iReporter and the Center for Citizens Media, with the project described here. The map is straightforward, 450 pushpins and counting, with good little descriptions of each site on it.
It's "citizen journalism", widely defined.
You'll find serous civic inquiry to music festivals to place-oriented photo displays. What is this stuff, exactly? Well, owing to our times and the freshness of what's now possible, it's all over the board, not a bad thing. Some more journalistic, some less, some smile-inducing, some soporific.
All in all, I think, this work and the citizen push more widely is just getting Beyond the Usual Suspects. We know those Usual Suspects and the brands they work for. Now there's all kinds of Unusual and much too early to have to sort it all out (but fun to try).
The new project sits well alongside PlaceBlogger, which focuses a little more specifically on, well, place, though there's of course considerable overlap. Both Amy Gahran of iReporter and Lisa Williams of PlaceBlogger won awards from the new Knight Challenge last week.
On the site is a good Things We Like feature, described well as "brief writeups and screen grabs of especially effective or unusual aspects of some of the citizen journalism projects sites." There's a nice little database behind it, with this info: ---year the site was founded ---business model ---whether it employs paid staff or professional journalists ---whether it offers training for contributors.
All in all, a good new piece 'o the puzzle.