Recently in our seminar class, we spoke about the standards between citizen journalists and professionals. Do they both set themselves to the same standards? I think not. Most citizen journalists, in my opinion, are in it for the social media publicity and not to actually make a difference in the world, but we did talk about one citizen journalist who I think wants to make legitimate difference.
Josh Fox shot a documentary in 2010 called “GASLAND” after he was offered money for the natural gas drilling rights on his property. Josh goes around the country talking to property owners who did give up the rights to their land and the repercussions that came with it. All in all the process for natural gas drilling called “hydraulic fracturing,” seems to be more harmful to the environment than most oil companies will admit. One man was able to light his tap water on fire due to the amount of natural gas in the ground water! Sure seems like a bad idea to me.
I think what Josh did was a great example of citizen journalism that actually made a difference and impacted the public. If more citizen journalists held themselves to his standards then maybe someday they would get a shot at being considered somewhat credible.