Somewhere along the line, Craig Newmark left the impression that people are going overboard with citizen journalism ("People have gotten too excited about citizen journalism, and they're not addressing the balance well.") and, I think, further gives the impression that there's a whole bunch of citizens just running around like Che and Fidel destabilizing the status quo...or at least that seems to be what's come across in this piece from CityPages ...
Honestly, I'm sure about Craig's real view of "citizen journalists" (he gives a very broad explanation in the interview) but there seems to be some misunderstanding...(and it occurs not just with Craig, lots of people have a misunderstanding of citizen journalism.)
The fact of the matter is that most of the folks who encourage citizen journalism are or have been journalists themselves--like Dan Gillmor and Jeff Jarvis and a whole bunch of others. And probably the most famous citizen journalist, Joshua Micha Marshall (featured in the NYMag piece) is one of those guys who was a journalist before he made his mark as a citizen journalist.
Even non-marquee but well-respected names like Jeff Hess, Roxanne Cooper, and Amy Gahran have writing/journalism backgrounds.
Further, most of us who are more or less on the Citizen side of the phrase "citizen journalism" have mentors who have been in media or journalism. From the folks who blog at Masslive.com, to Baristanet and The Greensboro News-Record, we all have mentors of one sort of another. Even I have mentors.
Besides, people wouldn't be doing it, nor would they have found mentors, if there weren't forces of destiny who thought they had something worth developing and sharing with others.
Heck, it's not like we've banded together and invested in guillotines...or Cuban cigars...Give us a break, Craig!
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