Citizen journalists, friend or foe?: MMJ week 6

Citizen journalism surely is not the answer but an added feature to the convergence in journalism.

It has certainly made a mark on online journalism more than print I think. This however comes with the help of social networks like FB, Twitter, etc.

Remember the Pakistani who tweeted hearing helicopters near his place which said it was unusual, it actually turned out to be the helicopter that was carrying the famous ‘Seal Team 6’ during operation ‘Geronimo’ who killed Osama bin Laden in his safe house.

He was not tweeting it for news but international media picked it up and requested to interview him. Incidental maybe, but it went to be a story that was carried by newsroom across the globe.

In the Philippines the same case is happening, newsrooms are now monitoring social networks and picking up on post of private individuals, so citizen send photo and videos direct to newsrooms for free.

Citizen journalism in the country (Philippines) is very successful especially in times of calamity, networks make a living out of pictures and text from citizen who sends it directly to the newsroom or newsrooms pick them up on social networks. What I hate about some networks is that they take photos from citizen with their permission (I hope) and put watermarks on them without even paying for it, are they breaching ethics here?

Whatever the case, citizen journalist should be paid maybe not the way they pay regular employee but pay, pay something in exchange for the use of their pictures, video or text because networks make millions out of it, ‘pay it forward’ as the saying goes.

CNN last November sacked several photo journalists in favor of their citizen journalist program, iReport.

So are they (new networks/agencies) making money out of citizen journalist? yes, news are products they produce and primary sell.

Citizen journalist will stay and in a way good competition for professional journalist.

Week 6: MMJ-convergence

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