viernes, 7 de diciembre de 2007

Citizen Journalism is here to stay

Jose Antonio Vargas of the Washington Post examines Faye Anderson, a prominent citizen journalist, in order to examine citizen journalism, what exactly it is, the credibility issue, and where citizen journalism stands in the future.
Anderson, whose political blog, Anderson at Large, based out of Brooklyn, N.Y. says that anyone can be a journalist, they just need to start a blog or record a podcast. Voters are interacting with the presidential elections of 2008 more than ever before because of things like Facebook, YouTube, and Wikipedia. Many regular people are now able to cover the campaign, so why not call themselves journalists? Well they have. And according to Vargas they are here to stay.

Vargas gives examples of growing citizen journalist fueled sites such as Huffington Post’s OfftheBus section and Scoop08, where college and high school citizen journalists provide the content.

Citizen journalism gives voice to those who before, were not able to participate in public debates. But the question, Vargas says, is are they really journalists?

Opinions differ on this. Andrew Keen, author of “The Cult of the Amateur” says, “It's ridiculous. You can't just be a great journalist, the same way you can't be a great chef or a great soccer player." But others say it is a great way to see different perspectives and hear different voices in the public debate. Anderson says citizen journalism has provided a way for "an outsider like me to play some sort of role."

So what exactly is citizen journalism? Dan Gillmor, former technology columnist for the San Jose Mercury News says it cannot be defined one way, it has to be defined by examples. He says, "It ranges from people who do journalism all the time to people who do what you might call a random act of journalism to people who don't consider themselves journalists but are in fact practicing journalism. The publishing tools -- digital cameras, blogging software -- are at the people's disposal," Gillmor continues. "And for a lot of them, the underlying motivation is frustration with the traditional media."

It looks like traditional media sources will have to come to terms with the fact that citizen journalism is here to stay, especially if Anderson has anything to do with it. Anderson has proved the citizen journalism is valid, even becoming a member of the Trotter Group, an association of well-known black journalists and gaining credentials to cover the Democratic debate at Howard University.

Anderson says, "Look, everyone's trying to analyze what citizen journalism is, what its impact will be in this election. We, the citizen journalists, are figuring it out. You mainstream media folks are figuring it out. But whatever it is, there's no going back. We're here. Get used to it."

Source: through Poynter Institute Romenesko
Wednesday, November 28, 2007 -

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