...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Citizen Journalist -- oxymoron?

Broadcasting and Cable magazine, one of the oldest trades in the broadcasting business (though it kind of abandoned radio), has a pretty good roundup of the use of amateur video and reporting by professional broadcasters. It's the ubiquity of camcorders and the ease of publishing on the Web that has the pros perking up. Of course, we now have Current TV, Al Gore's cable net, which uses viewer-produced mini-documentaries exclusively, and KYOURadio in San Francisco-Oakland, a former AM cripple owned by Infinity-Viacom, with its all-podcast format--they rotate them like tunes. The B&C article offers more examples.

What strikes me funny is the way the pros try to enforce control by saying things like, "...they (the amateurs) aren't journalists..." (emphasis mine). As if journalism is so complex. As if they (the pros) can control the new phenomenon.

The Internet has freed all the communications genies from their bottles, folks. Get used to it. The fact is, the "pros" are going to have to get more professional about their journalism. Because a lot of the amateurs are better at it. [I've got some words about this over on dehype.radio, too.]

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