Citizen journalists are self-serving. Just like ordinary journalists.

posted 08 November 2009

Paul Carr (yes, the same one who writes for the Guardian) has posted on TechCrunch that citizen journalists are doing it all wrong.

The post is so stupid it makes me angry.

What's is Mr. Carr's point? That people who report the news are sometimes doing it for the sake of their own aggrandizement rather than pure altruism? Then why is there a byline link on your post, Mr. Carr? Why do you draw a salary as a journalist?

Is this something new? I remember CNN journalists covering Katrina visibly preening themselves as they got more and more worked up about what a tragedy it was, and what good work they were doing by reporting it. The anchors who kicked off the 9/11 reporting knew that not only were they covering a world-changing event, but a career-changing one for them. To be a journalist is to have this conflict of interest.

The fact that it happens on Twitter and other social media too, when the journalists are amateurs, is completely and utterly irrelevant. Everything that happens in real life happens online too. It seems this keeps taking old-style journalists by surprise, who then report it as if it's a breakthrough. Shopping - online! Dating - online! Child molestation - online! Bullying - online! Support groups - online!

But of course my posting this is obviously fatally compromised because, as Mr. Carr knows, I'm really only doing it so you guys will read it and link to my blog. I guess that makes all my points invalid! Oh well.

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