Taking advantage of the citizen journalist…

This may be old news to some of you, but Larry Nance passed this great article on to me recently: Corporations Co-opt Citizen Journalism.
The citizen journalism movement is meant to be a way to allow the ordinary citizen to take part in news by contributing their video and still photos…and actually expand the ability of mainstream news to access information and visuals.
Frank Beacham with TVTechnology.com points out that Reuters and Yahoo set up a partnership, youwitnessnews, that takes citizen contributions and strips the citizen of any rights to their work…without fully informing them of that fact. In fact, as he points out,

The idea, it appears, is to pay citizen journalists with 15 minutes of fame rather than actual money.

I highly recommend this article…to encourage reflection on another possibility for the future of news. There are arguments that citizen journalists can replace the professional still and video shooters…and arguments against. I tend to agree with the latter…that there will always be a need for professionals with skill and talent to take the raw information and distill it into something understandable. Otherwise all we will see is visual noise – hours of video and reams of still photos with no way to filter out the good, the bad, and the ugly.


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