Will good journalism be the first casualty of the digital revolution in the media? Part four

On My Telegraph, readers mainly discuss current affairs but the internet as a whole allows anybody to start their own news blog and become a citizen journalist.

Matt Drudge exposed that Prince Harry was fighting in Afghanistan

The Drudge Report broke the news about Prince Harry in Afghanistan

New York University journalism professor, Jay Rosen said citizen journalism is: “When the people, formerly known as the audience, employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another.”

Ian Hargreaves wrote in Journalism: Truth or Dare “[Web journalism] has placed the power to shake the mighty in the hands of individuals or small groups: a welcome, if provisional, antidote to media concentration, the hegemony of business values, and the complacency into which all professional groups fall from time to time.”

Last year, American online journalist Matt Drudge broke the news on his site the Drudge Report that Prince Harry was fighting in Afghanistan, even though all forms of British media had signed up to a reporting embargo to protect him.

The story had already been reported by a celebrity website in Australia called New Idea, although it went largely unnoticed at the time.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, head of the British army, said he was very disappointed foreign websites ran the story without consulting them.

He said: “This is in stark contrast to the highly responsible attitude that the whole of the UK print and broadcast media, along with a small number overseas, who have entered into an understanding with us over the coverage of Prince Harry on operations.”

Mr Drudge claims he offers reliable and unbiased instant news. Indeed, political journalist Charles Reiss said truth breeds trust. He said: “There’s a gap between the picture people get of politicians from the media and from their own experience.”

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