Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
May 6, 2008 8:34 PM

Is Witnessing The Same As Being A Journalist?

After listening to one of my favourite Podcasts, For Immediate Release - The Hobson and Holtz Report, I was struck with a thought about those who have become Citizen Journalists (pretty much any one of us who can report on any situation be it in text, images, audio and/or video) and traditional Journalists.

There is a stark reality in this world: there are many events (from political to business to social) where reporters are not welcome and/or invited, yet regular people (like you and I) not only have access, but can then turn around and tell our story to the world as simply as hitting the "publish" button on a Blogging platform, uploading a video clip to YouTube or even tweeting it live on Twitter through your mobile device.

This begs the question: should Journalists be given equal access to these "private" events, or should attendees be forced to not publish anything they see, hear or feel?

Something tells me that both questions leave something to be desired. Is the bigger question: how do you - as an event organizer - contain the message as you would like it to be transmitted in a world where every witness is also a Citizen Journalist, Publisher and Pundit?

Something tells me that most of us don't want to deal with questions this deep. We would much rather stick our heads in the sand and, maybe even, sue those who don't follow our rules (much like the old saying goes: "if you don't like, it, I'm taking my ball and going home.").

What if there never were any rules, and everything we saw was commonly "put out there"? See, I don't think it's the fact that people are sharing their thoughts with the world, I think it's the fact that their thoughts can now be seen. heard and felt by the world... and yes, there is a big difference.

Every witness is now a Citizen Journalist. And, like traditional journalism, every truth is sprinkled with each individuals' own perspectives, slants and opinions.

Deal with it.

By Mitch Joel