Citizen journalism has been haunting newsrooms since Dan Gillmor wrote We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People in 2004. Suddenly, for Gillmor epigone and imitators (not for Gillmor himself), there was a new hero, the citizen journalist, struggling against a bad guy called the traditional journalist.
In fact a very bad guy this old journo: outdated, working for a mainstream media – disgusting, isn’t it ? -, linked to corporate interests, limited by the newsroom horizon, not very well connected (nor well educated) and with no knowledge of what can interest average people! Moreover, truth and accuracy were no longer his cup of tea…
On the contrary, the citizen journalist had so many qualities: as a newcomer, he was young, fresh, innocent, independent, with a lot of new ideas on journalism and democracy and on top of that a real love of truth.
But the problem is that this ideal citizen journalist only exists in some bloggers’ views.
The reality is different with the birth of four categories of citizen journalism, but with very few links between them: