Monday, November 11, 2013

Review on James Rainey's "'Citizen journalist' broke Obama story" (LA Times, 4/15/08)

The Huffington Post, and other websites alike, are a great outlet for bloggers and citizen journalists with big stories to get noticed. Mayhill Fowler did exactly that. While her ethics are shaky, she found a great story and did what she thought she had to do as a journalist.

Since The Huffington Post is one of the most visited websites, Fowler's story got picked up, and support for President Obama went down (to some extent). However, Fowler didn't gain that much support either. She was challenged as a real journalist, and her ethics in reporting were put into question. Was it ok that she went to Obama's event that was deemed "closed" to mainstream journalists, but then wrote about it as a "citizen journalist?" Maybe if she had posted it to her own blog, and then it was picked up, but even I am questioning if what she did is right or wrong.

Either way, Fowler uncovered an important story that mainstream journalists would not have otherwise covered. And maybe that's why her ethics don't matter, because she technically was not employed as a journalist, anyway.

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