The great freesheet war – one year on
Gates to the sea

Citizen journalism, blessing or curse?

Perhaps it's wrong to call it citizen journalism, perhaps 'eyewitness reports' is a better term. It's certainly not live blogging as I once phrased it, but with the way international media covered the recent events in Burma, it's clearer and clearer that eyewitness reports are starting to play a bigger and bigger role in mainstream media coverage.

Something is shifting: for me, as for others, Virginia Tech marked the first time eyewitness reports reached me much before I tuned in to mainstream media. So when I heard about the unrest in Burma, blogs and social networks seemed like the obvious first place to start looking for news of what really was going on.

But using social media for mainstream media purposes is not unproblematic: it raises big questions about verfication, who to trust, how to approach people, quality of coverage etc, as others have described more eloquently before me.

Still, these issues are worth giving some more thought to, especially since I've seen and heard several naysayers use the coverage from Burma as yet another excuse to have a go at how internet is corrupting standards and quality (like here, no direct links for the others) recently.

I don't usually advertise the work I do for a living here, but I was able to use links actively in this piece, and it takes comments, so if you're interested in this debate and have some skill in Scandinavian languages, you might want to stop by here (all the juicy links are over there...)


Interesting. I've commented over at the Norwegian site, so just briefly: If the old media didn't let their standards slip, they could use these arguments. It must be very uncomfortable for them that there are alternative ways of publishing which are both faster and more accurate than themselves. Not every time - but often!

Liked the article. But then again, I work there. But that's not biased, is it?

Anyway - I think the language and terms we're now using in/on new media is developing along with new medias maturing. Citizen journalism might be dead, but if so it exists amongst us as ghosts..

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