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Citizen Journalism, or "Ghoulish Voyeurism"?

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 17, 2005

From Smart Mobs, a link to a provocative view by the Guardian’s John Naughton on citizen journalism.

Technology, he writes, offered “those enthusiastic cameraphone ghouls” a “way of not attending to the pain of others. Picture-messaging to broadcasters offered them the chance of 15 minutes of fame. But if I had to decide between the girl who chose to stay and help the victims and the fiends who vied to take their pictures, then I have no doubt as to where true humanity lies.”

I suspect for many people, taking cameraphone photos was less a conscious stab at fame than a largely unconscious way of coping, creating a certain distance from an incomprehensibly horrible event. Still, Naughton’s view is a sign that citizen journalists will face many of the same challenges in covering such events that “professional” journalists always have.

UPDATE: Dan Gillmor points to a good analysis of what citizen journalism on the London bombings means.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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