Side note on the opinion thing. At our paper, I worked with an old Ed that thought the AP was the Vatican. They could do no wrong and opinion was NEVER allowed in an AP story. We argued endlessly about it and he denied ever example I would show him on the feed.
The day we got the memo that henceforth, the AP was totally fine with combining opinion with hard news, it was like someone told him he was adopted and his adoptive parents killed his puppy with a sledgehammer.
He never got over it.
My point is that if someone who aspires to be a citizen journalist concentrates on opinion only, then few will read it. It’s hard to differentiate oneself, at least as far as us conservatives.
But hard news is another matter. There’s an entire spectrum of news left uncovered.
Locally, its all the brother-in-law deals the county commission hands out. The local weekly won’t touch those stories, because it might upset the folks who dispense the legal advertising. And that legal advertising is the ONLY thing that keeps most weekly papers afloat.
Statewide, there’s the rot of the teacher’s union that metro newspapers won’t cover.
Once the citizen journalist builds himself some credibility by actually scooping the “real” media, then a little opinion is taken seriously by the readers.