Lecture Notes and Comments
Outline: In today’s class, Bill Kuykendall lectured on the topic of citizen journalists, or participatory journalists as they like to call themselves. Here are my notes for this lecture (Journal for November 8.) Bill talked about the strengths and weaknesses of both corporate journalism and its counterpart, citizen journalism. With a corporation, you have very skilled and trained writers who know how to write clearly and objectively, and who follow the rule set that the corporation sets up for them. The disadvantage to this is in some cases you get the message being tailored by the corporation, and a restriction of the creativity of the writer. With citizen journalists you get none of the rules and restrictions that the other type has to deal with, but you get a reduction in quality, in exchange for more quantity of writers. They also don’t have the same professionalism as the other type of writers would have, never having the training and requirements that the other has. Which is better? We have to decide for ourselves.
Comments: This argument is a really interesting one. I’m not quite sure where I stand in this battle, but I would probably stand right in the middle. Both sides have good and bad aspects, so I think an equal balance of both would serve us best. The professionalism is huge to me though, so in the end if I had to decide, I might have to go with the corporate journalist.
Is this subject important to new media students? While I think it’s less important than other issues, it is one that will increase in importance over time. As more and more people start turning towards citizen journalists for their news, the issue of professionalism will become more and more important and will have to be dealt with in some way.