08 July 2008

This is NOT Citizen Journalism

I've talked a bit about what qualifies something as Citizen Journalism in the past. What I haven't discussed is what disqualifies something as CJ.

Take this local publication with so much potential to create an actual model of CJ. Recently, a video was posted on this site. The video is of nudist activist Jen Moss. If you're okay with full frontal nudity, I recommend watching it.

As a nudist myself, I respect Jen's message and mission. Over the past few months, she has received considerable media exposure because she was denied entry in the 4th of July parade. I don't share the view of so many who say she has no place in a family event. You go, Jen!

Now, back to my criticism of the video itself and the text that accompanies it:
  1. A recorded mission statement does not qualify as an interview. It's certainly terrific for archival purposes, but you must engage in some form of Q&A for it to count as an interview. I could go further and say that the interviewer should present some tough questions, but we'll skip that for now.
  2. Owners, publishers, editors and staff writers aren't Citizen Journalists. If you run the show, if you make the call as owners, publishers, editors and paid staff writers do, then you aren't a "citizen" in the CJ sense. You are the policy maker, and therefore, disqualified as a CJ.
If you share Jen's beliefs, check out her site at earthfriendjen.com.

What do you think about Citizen Journalism?
  • Is it the greatest thing since Open Source technology, or is it the degradation of journalistic integrity?
  • Should small publishers and their paid staff get to claim the role of Citizen Journalists?
  • Is one more addition to a worn-out story newsworthy?

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