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Citizen Journalism Primer Includes Must Read Passage

Mark Glaser at PBS’s MediaShift provides a primer to citizen journalism with a full list of definitions, terminologies, practitioners, history, and resources, including the PJNet.

Here is a must-read quote that Glaser included from an OpenBusiness interview with Kenneth Neil Cukier, a technology correspondent for The Economist specializing in public policy matters, particularly intellectual property:

I … welcome the development of the ‘amateur journalist,’ akin to the ‘gentleman scientist’ of the 18th century, which did so much to advance knowledge. I believe journalism is undergoing its ‘reformational moment.’ By that I mean that the Internet is affecting journalism just as the printing press affected the Church – people are bypassing the sacrosanct authority of the journalist in the same way as Luther asserted that individuals could have a direct relationship with God without the intermediary of the priest. The Internet has disintermediated middlemen in other industries, why should journalism be immune?

The tools of broadcast media have gone from owning paper mills, presses, million-dollar transmitters and broadcast licenses, to having a cheap PC or a mobile phone in one’s pocket. That gives everyone the ability to have a direct rapport with the news as either a consumer or a producer, instantaneously. This is like the advent of literacy: it threatened elites and sometimes created problems. But it empowered individuals and led to a far better world. The new literacy from digital media will do the same, even as it creates new problems. Ultimately, I believe it is a positive thing for journalism, because it enables something journalism has lacked: competition from the very public we serve.

The Cukier interview dates back to June, but the whole interview is a must read and is a primer in itself. Here is one other powerful quote:

There is a presumption that in this new world of decentralized, open-source, peer-produced content – where individuals go from being consumers to creators of media – that the quality of journalism will decline. The dirty little secret is that it may actually improve!

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One Response to “Citizen Journalism Primer Includes Must Read Passage”

  1. Spacey Says:

    Yeah, know whatcha mean. TrueGritz/WaySouth Media just got credentialled to cover the North GA State Fair, surely the social media equivalent of nailing 95 pieces of paper to a door.