Citizen Journalism Does Not Equal Wild West Blogging

12/21/2005

Blog buddy, Debbie Weil added an important comment to her Kriptonite story post, that in the long-term, is more significant than if Kriptonite got it right or got it wrong. I think there's a cautionary tale in here about "blogging" vs. "journalism."

Pink_boa_9Toss of a pink boa to Debbie! We've all seen too many biz bloggers shoot from the hip when it comes to posting about what they perceive is a blogging "no no." That wild, wild west mentality needs to be checked at the virtual door ladies and gents. Not only does it harm your own credibility but provides one more stumbling block in our mission to encourage businesses that blogs are a legit marketing tactic.

Let's take our cue on this one from the good old days of journalism when the facts and truth were paramount. Because like it or not if you're putting it out there for the world to read, you do become a Citizen Journalist.

Sidebar: Dan Gilmor, a highly respected journalist, will be overseeing the new non profit Center for Citizen Media. The goals are to study, encourage and help enable the emergent grassroots media sphere, with a major focus on citizen journalism. The Center will be affiliated with U of CA Berkley's Graduate School of Journalism and Harvard U Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

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Comments

Hi, Tobi.

Thanks for posting this. You wrote, "Let's take our cue on this one from the good old days of journalism when the facts and truth were paramount. Because like it or not if you're putting it out there for the world to read, you do become a Citizen Journalist."

Well, actually I disagree with you on that. I don't think merely publishing online = an inherent responsibility to be journalistic, or at least concerned with accuracy or possible effects. People have always published all sorts of things, true and untrue, for a variety of good and not-so-good reasons in all media. I don't see any reason why that should change with weblogs -- for business or otherwise.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love journalism. I am a journalist. I even went to j-school. I wish more people would adopt journalistic techniques and ethics for all sorts of communications, including marketing and PR. But that's my preference only, and I don't expect other people to comply. They do what suits them, and that's just the way it is.

That said, I believe if someone *chooses to self-identify as a citizen journalist,* then they should strive to be accurate, to confirm with primary sources, to get corroboration, etc.

IMHO, of course,

- Amy Gahran
ireporter.com
rightconversation.com
contentious.com

Posted by: Amy Gahran on Jan 15, 2006 7:23:17 PM

Amy - Thanks for dropping your comment on Diva. As always, your insights are thought provoking.

Sure the internet has been used for good..for bad..truth..lies..the mundane. Let's take the concept of 'citizen journalism' from the perspective of a business blogger. (Yeah..yeah...there are unethical business people.) However, when a business blogger posts information about a competitor or a business issue, her credibility is online. Seems that she would want to ensure that what she posts is based on facts and truth. Of course, opinion is another story.

Posted by: Toby on Jan 15, 2006 10:39:37 PM

Amateur is not below professional. It is just another way of doing.The root of the word amateur is love, and someone who does something for love is an amateur. Someone who does something to pay the bills is a professional. The amateurs have more integrity than the professionals. If you are an amateur you have less conflict of interest and less reason not to tell your truth than if you have to pay the bills and please somebody else.

Posted by: Johnsons on Jun 23, 2007 12:53:45 AM

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