When Everyone is an Eye-Witness, What is a Journalist?

When Everyone is an Eye-Witness, What is a Journalist? | Storyful Blog:

Yet, from the vantage point of the social web, there was no apparent need for a third person to mediate. In the blatant first-person world of YouTube and Twitter, we all get to decide the meaning.

That concept strikes fear into the heart of those who believe there is eternal value in journalism. Even those of us who have mastered the tools of the social age have a deep ambivalence about where they are taking us.

On the night of the Boston bombings, my Twitter timeline was filled with the ambivalent cry of those who saw danger and opportunity around them. In the words of one angst-ridden tweep:

“Today reminds me how Twitter has become one of the greatest tools as well as one of greatest threats to true journalism”.

I share the sentiment. But I also despair at the failure of the guardians of ‘True Journalism’ to develop a coherent response to that contradiction. Perhaps the problem is that too many journalists still believe they are the rightful ‘owners’ of breaking news.

[Mark Little nails it.]

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