news, technology

Citizen Journalism- The future?

Because my current project has a lot of interaction with Huffington Post’s Off the Bus, I’ve had some time to think about this idea of citizen journalism. The theory that normal citizens who don’t practice journalism as their career can report on the news because of their access to events that reports can’t reach.

While I am still apprehensive about the term, there is no denying that some great stories have been discovered this way. Take Obama’s “bittergate.” This was reportorted to HuffPo by Mayhill Fowler, who has never been a professional writer. She’s got an MA, her husband is a lawyer, she’s an open Obama supporter and she’s raised some kids. But her ability to get a story that no one else got is amazing.

Just the other day, she got a shocking interview with Bill Clinton, who goes on a verbal tirade about a Vanity Fair reporter. While Mr. Clinton is known to have foot-in-mouth syndrome, maybe he was more open with Fowler because she doesn’t have the usual reporter aura about her. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that she got a great quote that many mainstream media sources picked up on.

So, there is a place for this type of truth-sharing. Granted, I don’t want my future job to dissapear before I’ve even got it, but I think we all benefit from this knowledge sharing platform. In this changing world of journalism, flexibility is the key. Time to go do my stretches.

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