"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Should News Orgs “Regulate” Citizen Journalism?

December 13th, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

Rhetorica: Press-Politics Journal:

Professor Hazinski is worried about citizens practicing journalism for themselves–exactly what citizens did during the colonial and revolutionary period of American history. He’s so worried that he’s willing to entertain the idea that the professional institution of journalism should regulate citizen journalism–something like herding cats, I suppose. From his column in the Atlanta Journal- Constitution:

Supporters of “citizen journalism” argue it provides independent, accurate, reliable information that the traditional media don’t provide. While it has its place, the reality is it really isn’t journalism at all, and it opens up information flow to the strong probability of fraud and abuse. The news industry should find some way to monitor and regulate this new trend.

Consider that what he’s really arguing for is professional journalists doing a proper job of editing (in all its understandings) of citizens’ submissions to commercial news products. I think it’s painfully obvious that a news organization needs to treat citizen journalism in the way it should treat its own journalism–with all the care that the ethical practice of the craft demands.

What’s annoying about Hazinski’s column is that he hasn’t moved beyond the oh-so-typical early arguments about the dangers of citizen journalism. He ends up worrying that citizens will practice journalism in exactly the same shoddy manner that too many professionals already practice the craft. Read more…

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