Wednesday, October 8, 2008

If we'd had more time

Our discussion today about citizen journalism left out some important things. For example, news organizations are often willing to accept video of dangerous circumstances--tornados--without being willing to accept the responsibility for injuries that may occur in collecting that information. Similarly, some news organizations are using citizen journalists essentially as consultants--bring expertise to news reporting that most journalists don't have--for example, forensic accounting. There's a need for the profession to establish some "rules of the road" about how these folks will be "used" and what level of responsibility the news organization is going to assume, since it is obviously willing to profit from their contributions.

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