NUJ says citizen journalists should be called “citizen witnesses”

The NUJ is proposing a new Code of Practice to cover “citizen
journalists” and perhaps surprisingly union members are not all anti
these amateur competitors.

Mike Holderness, from London Freelance
Branch of the NUJ, said many union activists would rather talk about
“citizen witnesses” adding: “the whole point, after all, is that we’re
increasingly dealing with reports and pictures from people who are not

“That diversity of input, as all the journalists
I’ve asked can agree, is no bad thing – so long as the interests of
journalism, of journalists and perhaps particularly of the witnesses
themselves are protected. And that’s the point of developing a Code.

Freelance Branch has invited representatives of the BBC, of Scoopt –
the agency that sets out to secure fair financial deals for citizens’
photos – and of course experienced journalists involved in the debate”

added: “Important events are inconsiderate enough to happen when no
professionals are present. Technology means that there are hundreds of
thousands of people who can send in their images and texts from events
that would otherwise be covered at second and third hand. In any case,
different views on the news are often welcome.”

The NUJ London
Freelance Branch debate on citizen journalism is being held on Monday,
from 7pm, at the Friends’ House on Euston Road in London.

No comments to display

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *