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London’s Citizen Journalists Slammed In The Guardian

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John Naughton, in today’s Guardian: Why I have serious doubts about the ‘citizen reporters’…

“I suppose there will be arguments about how this imagery and footage is justified because it conveys so vividly the horrors of which terrorists are capable. But I don’t buy it, and I don’t think broadcasting organisations should either.”

Link: Why I have serious doubts about the ‘citizen reporters’

Hmmm, when I was a journalism student at San Jose State University we had a lot of professional journalists come and talk with us (and some were our professors). I remember meeting several professional journalists who brought their images that were never published. They had horrific images from war. From traffic accidents. From murder scenes.

They shot the images because that was their job: to capture the scene and do reporting. They were never used because editors were sensitive to their readers and because they could find images that told the story without needing to rely on the blood and guts.

So, what’s changed? Well, the photographer can publish his/her images now without checking with an editor. Just go to Flickr and drag the images up.

Interestingly enough, I didn’t see many of the horrific images get published. And, the ones I saw most bloggers link to were pretty benign images.

But, of course, a headline of “citizen journalists were pretty responsible” isn’t nearly as interesting as the one John had on his story today.

What’s the real truth? I’d love to hear Dan Gillmor, or JD Lasica, our resident “citizen journalism” experts talk about it.

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Robert Scoble is the founder of the Scobleizer blog. He works as PodTech.net’s Vice President of Media Development.

Go to Scobleizer

London’s Citizen Journalists Slammed In The Guardian
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