A member of the crack and far-flung Repman reporting staff identified a fascinating new development in London. The BBC has provided a "desk" to a citizen journalist (nee Blogger) from which he can cover whatever happens to strike his fancy. How about our broadcast networks following suit? Anyway, herewith (as we Anglophiles like to say) is the report from our London office…
A major British online news outlet has offered a desk to a ‘citizen journalist’ for a week as an experiment. Strange you might think, but in the summer Europe effectively shuts down. Journalists affectionately refer to this time of the year as the silly season for news.
Lets face it, on this side of the pond we have already been subjected to a blow by blow account of the England players boarding the plane to Germany; the England players’ plane taxiing to the runway; the England players’ plane taking off and finally the England players plane being airborne…you get my point. Let’s see what kinds of story angles get selected as newsworthy in the coming week. Citizen journalists may just be what we need.
In his second day as "citizen journalist," Frankie Roberto has already succumbed to football mania with reports titled: "Owen heading back to England" followed shortly by "The England match" … and it all started so positively. But this raises an interesting question. What is news? Well, for me it’s not football, but for millions of people across the world, it is. So, should the news we receive be dictated by us, the audience, or by journalists who are paid to be objective and select the news that they feel we should know about?
The networks in the US should invite bloggers to participate on the nightly newscasts. Not as a means of legitimizing the blogosphere, but to salvage their own relevance.
Being an American currently in the UK, I have to say that I sympathize with the agony of hearing the real-time reports on the whereabouts of the England football team. I had high hopes for this citizen journalist in that he would capitalize on this opportunity to report on hard news from the people’s point of view. Give a fresh, un-jaded perspective, you know.
Unfortunately, to date, it appears that he has also fallen victim to World Cup hysteria. Poor Frankie Roberto…the chance of a life time is being sacrificed for a few words on sweaty men in shorts.