Digital Newsmedia Group Two
"Nothing could be more irrational than to give the people power, and to withhold from them information without which power is abused. A people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with power which knowledge gives. A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both.” -- James Madison
“When the right of every citizen to cooperate in the government of society is acknowledged, every citizen must be presumed to possess the power of discriminating between the different opinions of his contemporaries, and of appreciating the different facts from which inferences may be drawn.” -- de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
“Our Republic and its press will rise or fall together. An able, disinterested, public-spirited press, with trained intelligence to know right and courage to do it, can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and a mockery.” -- Joseph Pullitzer
"“A free press can of course be good or bad, but most certainly without freedom it will never be anything but bad. … Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better, whereas enslavement is a certainty of the worse.” -- Albert Camus
"“Without a free press there can be no free society … Without  a lively sense of responsibility a free press may readily become a powerful instrument of injustice.” -- Justice Frankfurter, Pennekamp v. Florida, 328 U.S. 331, 354, 365 (1946) (Frankfurter, J., concurring).
“I am a journalist myself and shall appeal to fellow journalists to realize their responsibility and to carry on their work with no idea other than that of upholding the truth.” -- Mahatma Gandhi
“The First Amendment … presupposes that right conclusions are more likely to be gathered out of a multitude of tongues, than through any kind of authoritative selection. To many this is, and always will be, folly; but we have staked upon it our all.” -- Judge Learned Hand
“The theory of a free press is that the truth will emerge from free reporting and free discussion, not that it will be presented perfectly and instantly in any one account.” -- Walter Lippman
“The publisher is not granted the privilege of independence simply to provide him with a more favored position in the community than is accorded to other citizens. He enjoys an explicitly defined independence because it is the only condition under which he can fulfill his role, which is to inform fully, fairly and comprehensively. The crux is not the publisher’s ‘freedom to print’; it is rather the citizen’s ‘right to know.’ ” -- Arthur Hays Sulzberger, New York Times publisher
“The first duty of a newspaper is to be accurate. If it be accurate, it follows that it is fair.” -- Herbert Bayard Swope, Newspaper editor
“I have witnessed admirable restraint and judgment by journalists. I have been gratified by the readiness of many of you to carefully consider sometimes withholding publication of information which could jeopardize national interests or to treat or present a story in a manner which meets the public need, yet minimizes potential damage to intelligence sources. The trick is to recognize the potential for damage and to consult on how it might be minimized. We are always ready and available on short notice to help on that.” -- William J. Casey, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
“Every bit as important as improving the credibility of the press is the need to foster greater understanding of the concept of freedom of the press. It is not … a special privilege granted to those few who own printing presses. Rather, it is a right granted to the people for their protection against the vicissitudes of government and all other sources of power and influence. … The newsman is but the surrogate for the people in a never-ending search to uncover the truth.” -- Stanford Smith
Interesting sites (not all citizen journalism):
- Media Cloud
- Eleven Layers
- Sourcewatch List of Websites
- Sourcewatch wiki page on Citizen Journalism
- OReilly We Media book
- CNN iReport
- Spot.us (crowd funding)
- Six Journalism Startups
- E Pluribus Media
- J Lab
- Citi Media Law
- Why Twitter Matters for Media Orgs
- OurBlook Rise of Citizen Journalism
Journalism More Generally:
History of US Journalism
- Revolution time: newspapers as mouthpieces for partisans -- when Framers thought about "free press" was much more criticism and "opinion-y" than we currently think of it.
- "Muckracker" period (1890s - 1920s), beginning of "investigative" journalism
- "Yellow" journalism - Sensationalizing News to up circulation
Law of the Horse: Importing longstanding journalism "problems" into new media. What can we say that's relatively unique about cyber citizen journalism?
- More opinions, more aggregation, more people enabled, more ability for "gotcha" journalism
- Interaction between old school / new school media
- How do you verify decentralized media (the information)? Focusing on decentralized journalism at this point. See also Citizen journalism
- Videos, pictures, etc… - Social Media as well
- Primary, first-hand accounts, sometimes powerful (Twitter in Iran).
- But how to verify and hold accountable?
- One of the great things about decentralized media is the extent to which it can hold normal media accountable, e.g. the Dan Rather scandal.
- But who checks the checkers?
- Accountability is not only about verification: Are there times when it is better to choose not to publish? Norms taken on by "professional" journalists that do not but "should" apply to decentralized media as well? (E.g. wikileaks and national security, compare general, esp. government, reaction against those who think that information wants to be free).
- Bias within decentralized media, is it a problem?
- What criteria do people on the internet use to deem something fact vs. opinion (bring up CBS story, 60 minutes). See also Wikipedia as News Source.
- Contrast with journalistic ethics codes and internal regulations (see Journalistic Ethics Wikipedia page and Anonymous Sources Wikipedia entry).
- See also Citizen Journalism is dead; posits "three deadly E's" including ethics, economics, and epistemology (although it appears the author has changed his thoughts a little); Grassroots Journalism: Actual Content vs. Shining Ideal.
- Crowdfunding (view huffingtonpost article)
- Contrasts traditional narrative that new journalism will replace old journalism. Instead, harness the same forces that donate money to grassroots political campaigns to donate money to fund news articles requiring a lot of investigation.
- Anytime money exchanged, fear of bias
- See this article, which talks about Spot.us.
- The legal regime and the "centralized" news media have over time developed a reasonably stable set of norms / regulations to govern various policy concerns, including First Amendment, defamation, confidential sources, etc. How well do these ideas translate when news is coming from "amateurs"?
- Should the policies be redesigned?
- See, e.g., this article, which talks about how a journalism "shield" law that's been stalled in Congress anyway is being blocked even more now because people don't want wikileaks to be able to use it as a shield.