chapter  4
11 Pages

Citizen Journalism

WithPaul Martin Lester, Stephanie A. Martin, Martin Smith-Rodden

Two citizen journalists – before social media they were called amateur photographers – stood a few feet apart and took essentially the same picture. One was disgraced. The other won a Pulitzer Prize. Such starts a cautionary tale on citizen journalism and credibility. A man who hoped his philanthropy would counteract criticisms of his hedonistically inspired publishing decisions and lack of credibility established the Pulitzer Prize, one of the most prestigious awards given each year since 1917 for literary and journalistic excellence. For moving images, one of the most famous citizen journalists is considered to be Abraham Zapruder, a dress manufacturer with interest in filmmaking. Journalism calls itself a profession because most of its members graduated from academic institutions, belong to organizations that promote latest practices along with ethical behavior, keep up with trade journals and other publications specific to field, attend conferences that provide inspirational stories, images, and workshops, and engage in active self-criticism when controversial actions are analyzed.