Monday, February 21, 2011

Citizen Journalists

The newest trend in the world of news is the citizen journalist. From twitter updates at crucial world events to CNN's iReports the genre has exploded in recent years. News agency's love the involved population for the most obvious of reasons, you don't have to pay them. Unfortunately the quality of information is questionable at best and sometimes just downright false and potentially harmful when portrayed along side fact checked journalistic works. Undoubtedly we will be stuck with this half assed free source of news for a long time, and so we should probably just start learning how to adapt to it. And well it would be a waste of time for me to list all the reasons why citizen journalists should be taken with a large amount of salt, I would still liek to explain my list of pet peeves from these sources.

*Image Courtesy of Lois Paul & Partners (by courtesy I of course mean I just put it here with no prior permission, but hell I still gave them credit and that's saying something.)
All news is biased, and if you think differently then you are one of the main reasons for all the worlds problems. News has to be biased, someone must sort through a story and choose what to present, what to ignore and overall what the main point of the story should be. This format leads directly to bias, and is one of the main concepts behind the Wikileaks organization releasing the source information, so the consumer can make up their own opinion, instead of being force fed already processed and refined stories and details. Many proponents have come out in support of citizen journalists, because they are added another set of primary source on a subject and allow for a more open view on the situation. I agree that this can be the case, but ultimately the create of the information is motivated by something, and more often then not this "something" is a political alliance with one of the sides, so they are unlikely to release information making their side look bad and more likely to share information that supports their views. And well I welcome all information to the table, because the more information you have the more likely you are to be able to come up with an accurate or correct answer, I think most of the citizen journalism is like adding large quantities of irrelevant information that cost time and energy for individuals to come to a decision.
I have no idea who deserves credit because I found it on some blog.  Sorry creators!
My biggest pet peeve though is that no one seems to be able to hold a fucking camera still. I mean seriously half of all the citizen journalist videos consists of the camera showing the ground as someone runs. Guess what I don't want to see the ground so if you are too much of a pussy to stand still and get the shot don't waste the world's time uploading your video of people screaming and running. Most videos I have seen could easily be shot by a group of friends in middle America suburbia, with added gunfire sound effects (or even simpler just someone shooting a gun), so they add no evidence to me that something more or less is happening then what the news agencies who are spending millions and sending actual trained journalists into the fray are saying and showing.
What an epically poignant and perfectly composed photograph, you must have spent minutes learning how to use your camera. You're not a photographer! You're a bored housewife with too much time on your hands.
This blog really had no point, just that this garbage needs to start being removed from news programs/websites.

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