The Guardian and "unhelpful" citizen journalism

The Guardian’s article on citizen journalism today reflects the reality facing traditional media. It might be as confusing as this article.

Without providing context for the history of the “citizen journalism” movement, the article hops around the globe pointing out empirical evidence of start-ups and later failures. It concludes by quoting a journalist who favors the non-profit model of news.

Perhaps most indictable is the comment about the label “citizen journalism” itself.

The “citizen journalism” label has been largely unhelpful. The most exciting developments now might be news, but the content is often closer to community activism. Many are finally beginning to tap into the growing resources of community tech tools, from FixMyStreet.com to a wave of civic-minded apps, such as those developed by Social Innovation Camp.

Evidence to support the “unhelpful” claim is missing in the article. Journalism requires both to be considered useful. Maybe this article could be coined “traditional media activism” to counter its description of  “community activism.”

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06 2010

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