Can we really trust “Citizen Journalism”?

Citizen Journalism has become a buzzword. Correction, the buzzword. The mainstream media see it as a lifeboat to rescue plunging circulation and diminishing interest. Newspapers, television channels and, increasingly, even news agencies are taking to it with fervour and ferocity.

The success of websites like, encyclopaedias like are all seen as validation of user-generated content. But how reliable is citizen journalism without the usual editorial checks and balances?

The battlelines are drawn. Simon Jenkins in The Guardian:

“The Internet has certainly torn up the media of communication pioneered by Gutenberg and Caxton, Marconi and Reith. The anarchist in me is attracted by the sovereignty of the mob, I like to see the market, the audience, hitting back occasionally — even if it does so from the Tower of Babel.”

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