Citizen Journalism: Back to the Future?

By Clyde H. Bentley - 2008

With bloggers by the million, photos on every computer and 'friends' telling the news, what future is there for journalism? A very good future, I believe. Rather than destroying journalism, citizen journalism and its cousins are improving it. The future of both citizen journalism and traditional journalism is the same: Just journalism with no preface.

The key difference between traditional journalism and citizen journalism in its various guises is the difference between 'covering' and 'sharing'. A professional journalist assigned to a story will research the issues, talk to the people involved, check the facts and craft the results into a story. Then move on. The job of a journalist is to taste the world, one news bite at a time. A citizen journalist or blogger, however, lives the story. It is neither a passing interest nor something he or she was assigned to investigate. Rather than taking that quick bite of the world, citizen journalists share a bit of their own lives.

Discussion paper prepared for the Carnegie‐Knight Conference on the Future of Journalism, Cambridge, MA June 20‐21, 2008. PDF.

By Clyde H. Bentley| 2008


Communication rights enable all people everywhere to express themselves individually and collectively by all means of communication. They are vital to full participation in society and are, therefore, universal human rights belonging to every man, woman, and child.


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