A Digital Journalist editorial argues that citizen journalism should be abolished:
There are many people who think they can replace professional visual journalists. Citizen journalist is a misnomer. There is no such thing. There are citizens and there are journalists. Everybody can be one of the former, but to be called a journalist means that you are a professional. Either you have been schooled in journalism, or you have ‘paid your dues,’ rising slowly through the ranks.
But it’s not clear whose argument the editorial is countering. Howard Owens, publisher of the Batvian, responds sharply in the comments, a reply which is worth an Editors’ Pick in its own right:
[Y]ou state, “There are many people who think they can replace professional visual journalists.” Yet you provide not one verified quote to substantiate the claim, nor, more importantly one link to support this statement. I challenge you to prove its true, rather than a bald face unsubstantiated assertion – the kind of sloppy reporting you claim to abhor.
Owens also provides some interesting details on ‘citizen journalist’ equivalents of the past.
Sudbury, who died from leukaemia in August last year, started the campaign – fuelled by his blog – and secured significant funding for a pilot project to train volunteers to deliver seminars in schools and colleges.
A host of fundraising activities have also been organised by Adrian’s friends and family, and donations in honour of his memory have already risen to £1,400, which has been given to the Anthony Nolan Trust.
“His Dad and I would merely say that the best way to remember Adrian is to get onto the donor register. We know many of you have already done so and we salute your determination to make a difference,” his mum added in the post.
In his latest post he explained that his dying wish was to ‘educate more people about what it is like to be a bone marrow donor’.
The Examiner has taken on Sudbury’s challenge by launching an official campaign, which will now see the journalist address health minister Alan Johnson and Ed Balls, secretary of state for children, schools and families, at Westminster, the paper reports.
At the meeting, he will explain the system in Germany, where school children are educated about bone marrow donation as part of their curriculum.