Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"About the triumph of citizen journalism, I'll believe it when I see it"

Of Pew's State of the Media 2009 report its authors say:
"We found that legacy sites offered almost double the percent of news (89 percent) in comparison with citizen news sites (56 percent) and three times that of blogs (27 percent)," said Margaret Duffy, faculty chair in strategic communication in the Journalism School [and one of the three co-authors of the report]. "The topic coverage on blogs and citizen new sites is generally narrow and the sourcing is light." . . .

"One of the biggest surprises we found was that mainstream media Web sites were almost as welcoming to citizen participation as citizen journalism sites, and they were far more welcoming than blogs," [Esther] Thorson [another co-author] said. "Many industry professionals hope that citizen sites will democratize news media, but that hope has yet to be realized."
Stephen Hume, a columnist for the Vancouver Sun, responds to the Pew report:
[T]he priorities of citizen journalists appear remarkably similar to those for which bloggers roundly condemn old media journalists while praising the transformation of coverage by new media.

Perhaps more important, the survey found transparency and accountability remain a critical issue for both citizen journalism sites and for blogs. . . .

The Pew report also found that citizen media sites offered little in the way of helping people contact anyone through standard mail or by telephone, “or even getting a sense of where the people creating the website were located. Only three in 10 citizen sites and a mere one in 10 citizen blogs provided this information.” . . .

[W]hen it comes to the triumph of citizen journalism, I guess I’m like the proverbial guy from Missouri, I’ll believe it when I see it.

More here.

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