6 Pillars of the Citizen

The Croydon Citizen has 6 ‘pillars’ – or foundational values of the publication. They guide the Citizen’s entire editorial approach. They are:

I) Citizen Journalism is the future

In the future, there won’t be fewer journalists; there will be more of them – every one of us, if we want to get involved. Journalism itself will be made stronger, not weaker, by drawing on the untapped knowledge and skills of millions, rather than a comparatively small number of  specialists.

But we believe this future will be brought about through a blending of traditional editorial activity with the Citizen revolution; not the automated aggregation of isolated bloggers. We believe robust, but sensitive editing that respects a writer’s content, enhances not diminishes their voice.

II)  Pluralism is essential, neutrality is impossible 

We have no interest in pushing a particular political agenda – left, right, authoritarian, libertarian, reformed, un-reformed, moderate or extreme. We believe in publishing content from a range of perspectives because we believe that no single ideology, group or individual has a monopoly of ‘truth’ or that is possible to construct a  ’bias-neutral’ perspective through artificial balance. As a result we welcome contributions from all quarters that do not force us to comprise our other stated values.

III) Discussion is progress, attacks are obstacles

We believe it’s better to put yourself in the shoes of those you think you oppose, than draw up tribal battle lines against them. ‘Othering’, and dehumaninisation have no place at the Citizen. We welcome passionate, vigorous debate but we will not tolerate personal attacks regardless of how justified a cause is claimed to be. We believe that it is through understanding and the free sharing of ideas that we advance.

IV) Media is a force; it should choose to be a force for good

No voice is truly independent of the environment it occupies; by passing judgement, reporting fact or making comment it changes the environment it operates in; by shaping perceptions, motivating change (good or bad) or highlighting one thing over another. The idea that media can merely observe is not only flawed, but impossible to achieve in action. The Citizen makes the explicit choice to be a force for good through unearthing injustice and celebrating achievements; highlighting problems  and proposing solutions.

V) Relevance to Croydon matters – not borders 

We publish content that we believe to be especially relevant to Croydon, its people and the many natural communities, geographic and cultural, which are connected to it. We do not obsess about its current physical boundaries as a town or as a borough as a test of relevance. Our only concern is that should be  more relevant to Croydon than other communities on a fundamental level.

VI) We believe in Croydon

Our editorial team, and all of our writers are united by a common belief in Croydon. This does not mean that they are not prepared to criticize the state it is in – the town, its people or the manner in which it is run. There can be no hiding from its serious, deeply ingrained issues; some of which are the profoundest issues our society faces. But they do believe that it is either a good place to be, or somewhere with the potential to be a good place to be.