The term “citizen journalism” gets thrown around a lot, used to refer to everything from people tweeting in crisis zones to high-school students covering city-council meetings. But for me at least, one of the people who best epitomizes that term is the blogger Eliot Higgins, better known by his nom de plume Brown Moses — a man who took an aptitude for painstaking research and used it to turn himself into one of the leading sources of information about the conflict in Syria.

I’ve written about Higgins before, and described his somewhat miraculous transformation over the past couple of years, from an unemployed accountant to a pioneering war blogger — one whose research is relied on not just by aid groups and government agencies in Syria but is praised by established journalists like New York Times war reporter CJ Chivers and others. But I was reminded again of how…

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