Citizen journalism or witness contributors?

I've been a bit slow on the up-take, but it appears that the National Union of Journalists has launched a code of practice for what has been widely called citizen journalism (i.e. blogs, vlogs, podcasting, etc.), except the NUJ refers to the emerging phenomenon as "witness contributors".

The code of conduct is said to have arisen from a major round-table debate on citizen journalism and its implications for the profession. The debate involved the union and MediaGuardian.

Questions discussed included: is citizen journalism a passing fad or will it change the nature of journalism forever? How can we encourage greater participation in the media while maintaining professional standards? Is citizen journalism just a cheap way to fill papers or programmes, or an opening up of the media? What are the opportunities and the dangers?

It's a bit one-sided if you ask me and an indication that blogging, etc. is not only ruffling the feathers of media corporations; it is also causing concern amongst the ranks of journalists. What is more, it also fails to acknowledge that blogging, etc. is much more than journalism and bloggers cater for an audience that journalists, to be honest, don't really care too much about. In effect, the NUJ's concerns are very much to do with how the blogosphere spills over into an area previously dominated by themselves. The press has a lot to learn from blogs so in my opinion they should back off for now.

For futher details view Citizen journalism – NUJ launches Code and Opinion by Emily Bell (The Guardian: Media Guardian).

One new blog to add: Blogging the swoosh - a view inside the most prolific marketing machine on the planet [i.e. Nike].

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