Sunday, July 10, 2005

'Citizen' Journalist as Opposed to What?

Tim Porter notices that the phrase "citizen journalist" has jumped the proverbial shark, been stuck with the proverbial fork, or as my daughter might say, "It's so over."

"Citizen journalists" have been on the job in the London Tube, in the Florida hurricanes, and presumably on the Rathergate story and so forth. Their contributions (for good or ill, I guess) have been noted by CNN, the Chicago Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, etc., etc., etc.

What he doesn't ask, maybe because it's too obvious, is if the "man in the street" types, taking photos on their cell phones, punditizing in their pajamas, and eating cat food on their advertising royalties are "citizen" journalists, then what sort of journalists are the people pontificating about them?

I bet Ernie Pyle would have been surprised to find himself removed from the category of "citizen."

And probably pissed.

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