Digital Proof, Human Source

Imagine how quickly the slaughter of innocents at My Lai would have become known had it been captured by a palm-sized digital camera (or phone) instead of reported by letter.

What does this mean for journalism?

First, it converts all camera-toting participants of an event into potential irrefutable witnesses and therefore sources.

Second, these witnesses also have the capability to become citizen reporters (who may or may not attempt to “report” journalistically and instead prefer to “show” a version of an event from their own viewpoint).

Third, it further dilutes the traditional role of mainstream journalists as the primary providers of news. As more citizens become not only subjects and sources but also reporters, professional journalists are increasingly disintermediated.

The deflation of high technology into everyday tools usable by anyone redefines journalism’s core function (reporting what happened) from the practice of an elite few to a possibility for many.

Tim PorterDigital Proof, Human Source (First Draft by Tim Porter)

A provocative discussion of how technology is changing journalism. The simple fact that anyone can be a journalist does not devalue the training that makes a journalist fair and comprehensive in his or her coverage… in fact, greater access to technology means that more people shoudl be exposed to that kind of training (if only so they can recognize biased or suspect sources when they encounter them, since they are less likely to be filtered out of the news pool by gate-keeping professionals).

Thanks for the link, Mike.