Email Interview with citizen journalism group, Demotix
Do you consider citizen journalism a gift or menace to news reporters?
If a reporter cares about the future of journalism and transparency they should consider citizen journalism a plus. Citizen journalism is very fair, and the pay scale is much more giving as well. More importantly, instead of sending a journalist with little knowledge of a foreign place, we now have the local citizens telling the stories.
When do you believe the phrase ‘citizen journalist’ became common?
I’d just wiki that.
Do you believe that the nature of the citizen journalist has changed in the past decade? (e.g. now anybody with a phone can be a journalist).
Phones have definitely changed everything, specifically smartphones and apps. This is something that has yet to really pick up, but it certainly will. Ex: The Hudson River crash
What do you consider to be the pros and cons of citizen journalists?
There are dozens of pros, but one con is reliability and a lack-of a unified code of ethics. But, these are are obstacles, which can be tackled with a proper editorial staff.
Do you think there are any economical implications for working news reporters that cause them to rely on citizen journalists?
News papers are definitely relying on citizen journalists or untapped professional journalists. Images especially are coming from the scene all across the Middle East and Africa directly from local citizen journalists. These aren’t reporters placed by news papers or agencies.
Do you believe a relationship between the ‘professional’ and the citizen journalist could be successfully operated?
100% – a lot is still to be revealed, but its well on its way – especially in our office.
What do you predict for the future of citizen journalism?
Citizen journalism will not be the only way, but it will have a huge holding in the media. I think this is unstoppable. Citizen journalism can likely help save the media industry as well. Transparency across the globe will heavily increase as well as citizen journalism grows. This will also create a larger calling for good fact finders.