Does citizen journalism threaten the role of freelance journalists?
Citizen journalists help cover revolutions, offer personal takes on breaking news and tell stories that would otherwise go untold, but how does this impact the role of freelance journalism?
Some journalists' unions think it may be detrimental. When the Guardian launched a new crowdsourcing platform called Guardian Witness, the Chartered Institute of Journalists and the National Union of Journalists voiced their reservations.
“We’ve got no problem with citizen journalism as such, but if they are commissioning people for stories then they’ll be undercutting paid freelance journalists," said ICJ president Charlie Harris.
He likened the Guardian's call for readers to submit text, photographs and video to using unpaid interns. "Just because there are people willing to be unpaid to get their work published, doesn't mean it’s right,” he said.
What do you think? Is it fair that citizen journalists aren't paid for their work? Should freelance journalists be filling the gap in coverage that citizen journalists provide?
Image CC-licensed via Dilip Muralidaran on Flickr.