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Friday, July 22, 2005

London Bombings 2: citizen journalists = armchair critcs?

Two weeks ago when the terrible bombings in London took place, citizen journalists played a vital role in disseminating information and photographs (see previous posting). In yesterdays renewed terror they seem to have been less active. At least is this the opinion of Vincent Maher, who is teaching new-media at the Rhodes University School of Journalism & Media Studies, South Africa. According to Poynter he said: "I was forced to conclude that, while waiting and watching what the bloggers were up to, I saw precious little actual citizen journalism ... All I saw was a bunch of armchair critics and, frankly, bland repetition. ... I find it very depressing, as a teacher of this post-it NOW culture, that the traditional media beat the citizens." He does not understand why the traditional media were faster even if they had reactively to go on site whereas many citizens where already there. Instead the blog postings only evaluated or repeated content of traditional media. Steve Outing, Poynter, is more optimistic: "It is early in the grassroots journalism game, so I'm not going to get distressed yet." In his opinion the news media will have to think about how to encourage citizen journalists, for example by paying them like at Ohmynews, a Korean website (see former posting).

Source: Poynter

Posted by Anna-Maria Mende on July 22, 2005 at 12:19 PM in a. Citizen journalism | Permalink

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