Sunday, June 8, 2008
Citizen Journalists Are Changing The Rules of Engagement
Two of the most controversial quotes from the primary season--Obama's "bitter" comment and Bill Clinton's attack on Vanity Fair reporter Todd Purdum -- emerged from the digital voice recorder of Mayhill Fowler, a self-described citizen journalist who is blogging for Off the Bus, a campaign feature on Huffington Post. Unlike professional journalists, Fowler doesn't identify herself as a reporter when she's talking to people she plans to write about. Some observers of the blogosphere call this a healthy development, arguing that it's up to sources to determine whom they're talking to and that allowing the public to see public figures in their unguarded, unmanicured moments serves readers rather than protecting the reporter-source relationship. The Times explores the issue.