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Friday, April 07, 2006

Why we are all reporters now

By Dan Gillmor

Power of the crowd

The process, asking readers to help report the story, fit into a category I have been calling "distributed journalism." Mr Marshall was one of the first to see the potential.

Citizen journalism and professional journalism are not mutually exclusive concepts

If they are smart, journalists at major media organisations will recognise that their readers can be major contributors to tomorrow's journalism.

Win-win situation

Professional journalists should also be helping citizen journalists, with education and training.

Most people don't care to be journalists, but many of us can and will occasionally commit an act of journalism, and it would be useful for people to understand some of the principles that have served the professionals, and their audiences, so well for so long.

Citizen journalism won't replace the professionals, at least I hope not. We need the best of what the pros do.

Let me say that I'm not addressing the business issues here that are undermining the pros' business models. That's a separate but important topic, which I'll be addressing in an upcoming column.

But we are going to have to all recognise that the old systems are expanding. We are learning new ways to gather, sift and recombine what we know and learn together.

We can all win in that game.

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