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Is citizen journalism really journalism?

In my opinion, yes it is. But of course there are many arguments to the story and first we must look at the definition of citizen journalism. Citizen journalism is a type of journalism written by the people. It is citizens going out and doing the reporting. In most cases, citizen journalism is done for local papers since big national papers have professional journalists. Citizen journalists do it for free and they usually are completing information for professionals or acting as correspondents of the public. Dan Gillmor listed five basic principles when describing citizen journalism. One must be meticulousness, precise, impartial, transparent, and independent when being a citizen journalist. There are also several main things that a citizen journalist needs to do. A citizen journalist must have the desire to communicate and investigate. They also need a tool to record their investigations as well as a way to develop their information using different techniques. Most importantly they need to have material that is high quality information or else they will not be taken seriously.

Many professional journalists do not believe that citizen journalism is true journalism. They think that it is a professional disciple and cannot be used for everyone. In a way this may be true, that journalists must have certain credentials or be professionally trained. However I believe that if someone is reporting information to the general public in a way of journalism then they can be considered a citizen journalist. Think of all the times we get information from someone who is not a professional journalist. If we were to consider citizen journalism as not a true form of journalism then we would be discrediting much of the information we take in on a daily basis. Citizen journalists are not claiming to have the same credentials as real journalists, but they do provide essential information for the public and news wouldn’t be the same without them.

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Posted by on October 26, 2011 in Journalism 2.0

 

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