Believe in Citizen Journalism?

Leonard Pitts Jr. who is a columnist in Miami Herald recently published his article “Citizen Journalists? Spreading Like a Cold.” In the article, he strongly mentioned that he does not believe in “citizen journalism” with James O’Keefe III‘s example.

“Citizen journalism,” we are told, is supposed to democratize all that, the tools of new technology making each of us a journalist unto him or herself. It is a mark of the low regard in which journalism is held that that load of bull pucky ever passed as wisdom. If some guy had a wrench, would that make him a citizen mechanic? If some woman flashed a toy badge, would you call her a citizen police officer? Would you trust your health to a citizen doctor just because he produced a syringe?

It is an interesting article that show an insight of mainstream news people toward citizen journalism and citizen journalist. If you get a chance, take a look at Tree Sonorans‘ response to Leonard Pitts Jr., “Citizen Journalists and Their Role“, published in Tucson Citizen.

Citizen Journalists? Spreading Like a Cold (Miami Herald)

Citizen Journalists and Their Role (Tucson Citizen)

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10 2010

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  1. Geoff Strempel #
    1

    I can see that the notion of "citizen journalist" undersells what journalist are theoritically capable of. However many journalists have resorted to copying slabs of media releases, going for banal senationalism and become cheer leaders for partisan political views. Therefore in debasing the porfession, they have allowed many others to say "We can all do that" thereby allowing the notion of citizen journalism to flourish. If professional journalists retained their investigative & inciteful skills with professional independence and integrity then we would all applaud and leave them to it.

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  2. 2

    How terrible for the Miami Herald to run something like this, when so many of its former employees have found success via grants from Knight Foundation, a philanthropy that promotes new media, including citizen reporting!

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  3. 3

    And of course I don't believe in James O'Keefe III's message, but Pitts trying to equate O'Keefe's seedy quest with all the other citizen journalists doing good work out there is pitiful.

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