Thursday, 12 June 2008

Aren't we all journalists?

I'm intrigued by this - I think it's a phenomenon which is going to become increasingly prevalent as citizen journalism flourishes.
It's interesting Clinton and Obama are bleating they didn't know they were being filmed - ie they were 'on the record' - because surely politicians this far up the greasy poll must know that nothing, ultimately, is private.
I know there are real concerns in the industry about the veracity of citizen journalism - I say, bring it on, and the sooner the better.

I didn't get into news because I wanted to file an elegantly-turned phrase (if I did I would have become a magazine feature writer); I became a journalist because a) my mum told me to, and b) because I wanted to tell people things. I wanted to be the one that everyone listened to in the pub because I knew stuff.
That's what citizen journalism is, for me. It's silencing the rest of the crowd because you have interesting things to tell that no one else knows.
We are driven to communicate with others and impart information; that's why Twitter is so compelling - it's 140 characters of information, no matter how banal some tweets may seem, they will be devoured by readers who want to know.

Citizen journalism is something we need at a fundamental level - it is Everyman, Everywhere, ready to tell the story. I think this blog post from Media Idea Lab offers some very good insights into the concept.
On the whole I believe citizen journalism is a very fine thing for the newspaper industry - we just need to know how to embrace it rather than sneer at it.
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