Home » Uncategorized » Snoops and gossips are not journalists

Snoops and gossips are not journalists

Caricature of SteveJoel Simon in this piece from the Columbia Journalism Review argues that persons who collect images, video and audio of various happenings then distribute them are journalists.

I disagree.

In the past we referred to these folks as tipsters, sources or even gossips and busybodies talking across a backyard fence.

Mr. Simon, in my opinion, shares the erroneous opinion that any technology that facilitates such snooping automatically changes how we label persons in possession of such tools.

It does not confer any elevated status on the sources nor should it.

They were, are, and should always be considered sources–just like any other.

Citizen journalists, however, are another breed.  They are individuals whose work in  gathering information and distributing it on an independent news site is continual and frequent.

Thus, a one-time capture of a shooting and post on Facebook, Twitter or any other social medium does not qualify.


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