Citizen Journalism An Antidote to Mainstream News Media, In Any Language

Question: Which U.S. media observer said the following:

"The news seems very similar from one media organization to another — as if reporters have stopped doing their jobs and are just sitting in their offices, taking press releases and publishing them in the papers."

Answer: None.

The quote is from Israeli journalist Michael Weiss, who founded Israel’s first major citizen journalism web site, Scoop. Weiss made his comments in a article, in which he also said that he is “skeptical about the value of an industry operating with a high level of cross-ownership,” and what he sees as “homogenous news content with a heavy public relations influence.”

Will the experiment work, ala OhMyNews in South Korea? According to the article, Scoop already has 400 citizen reporters. Not bad for a start-up in a country with only 2.5 million Internet users.

"I think we have a huge advantage: everyone can write about everything, so if you were actually there and don’t think that’s the way it was, then you can write your own perspective about the issue," Weiss said in the article.

"More and more people will do that – writing their own point of view and adding comment to other stories – and this will be the best tool for bringing ‘reality’ to the stage."

The real question, however, isn’t whether Citizen Journalism will work in Israel, the United States or anywhere else. The real question– or the sad truth – is whether citizen journalism will more and more be viewed as an antidote to today’s news media, rather than as an enhancement.

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