Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Citizen journalists - or just people?

I must admit I've never been that happy with the term 'citizen journalist', so I was interested to read what Steve Yelvington had to say on the topic:
What many meant when they said or heard "citizen journalism" was a lay practice resembling professional journalism ... where "citizens" "covered" "news."
But what I meant when I said "people's journalism" is not that at all. I meant something more organic, more natural, more spontaneous, more personal, less organized, less structured, less "newsworthy" and less ... well, less reliable.
I prefer Yelvington's thought that inevitably 'people's journalism', as he calls it, is more 'natural'. People talk about, write about, report on, and produce other types of content on, topics they find interesting. Journalists might define some of it as 'news' but some if will be just 'interesting stuff', but still important.

Students at Solent will soon be debating what 'citizen journalists' do that helps, improves on, or is better than, the work of professional journalists.

Their start point is a series of links, new and old, plus a couple of books- all listed below. Feel free to contribute to the debate.

How “citizen journalism” aided two major Guardian scoops, Online Journalism Blog                     

Online news: journalism and the internet, Stuart Allen.  Introduction and Ch 4, 5, 8.