Are average joe journalists contaminating the news today?

Everyday people inevitably add their perspective to the news. This is both helpful and dangerous. What’s your take?

Do you think that the influx of “citizen journalists” due to the expanding journalism ecosystem—social media sites mainly—have made reliable news harder to find? People can tweet a picture before a photojournalist, or write a Facebook status update before the newspaper. If the citizen is ill-informed about the subject, that first appearance of news will disseminate and might be the only source that some people see, furthermore believing it and spreading that story.

Conversely, do you think “citizen journalists” contribute to the news and enhance the news? If so, because of the ubiquitous forms of technology, should they be expected to take pictures or report stories on social media/blogs when they are at the site (i.e. take a picture at the scene of an incident)? Should they only be expected to be “citizen photojournalists” or “video journalists”, because less can be poorly conveyed in a picture or video than in words, which can twist the facts?

Gillmor calls writers for blogs, sites, and papers that don’t necessarily do all of the research “almost-journalists” and “advocates” of journalism, but he categorizes them as a part of media rather than journalism, because they do not write fairly. They tend to be very biased and vehemently arguing against other sides of the coin. Do you think these writers, like for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) should be considered part of journalism in addition to media?


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