By: Amy Cooper, Detroit Ginger

Wikipedia defines Citizen Journalism as public inhabitants producing street journalism, collecting information, data, and reporting this knowledge through different mediums.  In the days of print media only, this was much harder to come by, as someone would have to pay and produce their items. In the current age, any individual with an internet connection has the means to be a citizen journalist, which is where citizen journalism gets a bad rap.

Tom Alderman of the Huffington Post added this information to his article from 2008:
“Citizen reporters provide independent, accurate, reliable information that the traditional media doesn’t provide, goes the argument. Independent? Perhaps. Accurate and reliable? Can’t be sure, say concerned professionals.”

This becomes the argument association for Citizen Journalism. If we don’t have people to fact check and edit, how is it real journalism?  Answer is, it’s probably not. On top of this, it creates a stigma for journalists versus non-journalists.

“On the face of it, blogger does the legwork that journalists don’t and gets a story is a good-news story about internet culture. Anyone who complains about citizen journalists doing their job must be a bitter old-school journalist, you think.” Talk Normal’s Tim Phillips adds to his article, “Citizen Journalism isn’t always a good thing.”

Now, if you take this logic into a Detroit perspective, it would be like Detroiters primarily getting their news from Steve Neavling’s “Motor City Muckracker” when primary news outlets like The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News exist for Detroiters to get their news.

The flip side to this which would be an argument for Motor City Muckracker is that they are able to “print” what they want without having to go through the politics. Something specific would be Neavling’s constant updates on Dan Gilbert, owner of Quicken Loans, who is supposedly monitoring areas of Detroit, including alleyways he has no access to monitor – which seems to be a below the radar controversy.  A story like this wouldn’t necessarily run in the News or the Free Press unless it was 100% confirmed.

Which kind of Journalist would you rather give you information? One who has no higher up to answer to, who will cover stories that other news outlets won’t cover? Or would you like something that you know has been through the ringer through editors and knowledgeable chiefs of service? Regardless of which sounds better, it’s safe to say that both forms of Journalists are here to stay.

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