MonthOctober 2014

More potshots from the press

The mainstream media has a short memory of its own sins when it comes to measuring the journalistic value of citizen media:

Citizen journalism can be a wonderful thing. In a news media world that’s ever shrinking, with journalists being asked to do more with less, the voices in newsrooms are fewer. Having community members who are interested in the issues and who have no problem getting involved can provide us with unique perspectives, alternate information and make us think outside the box. These are all good things for journalism and democracy.

But when these citizen journalists hide behind the anonymity the Internet provides it can get really ugly, really quick. Lies and misinformation can spread like wildfire.

I’m not saying that I, or any other journalist, is perfect. We’re certainly not. But we stand by what we write, with our names and contact information handy when our imperfections come out.

Here’s a short and incomplete list of how members of the mainstream media has failed to live up to expectations:

Stephen Glass..
Janet Cooke.
Jayson Blair.
Exploding GM pickup trucks.

Not a citizen journalist in the bunch.

A few election season story ideas for citizen journalists

9 ways to shed light on election season with citizen journalism

The Franklin Center, which produced Watchdog Wire, a a right of center organization. Still, they offer some good advice.