Exposés from bloggers like Matt Drudge have a potential to encourage greater transparency in the media. But his critics say he merely runs a clippings service linking to other people’s stories and he became famous by attacking more conventional reporters.
They say amateur journalists risk the integrity of professional journalism and reduce its already low trustworthiness. Professor Richard Tait said professional journalism is defined, in part, by maintaining standards and ethics. This includes abiding by media law and codes of conduct, which citizen journalists are unlikely to do, or even know.
One way of improving the quality of citizen journalism is for media groups or colleges to offer courses, something, which The Oakland Press in America is doing. It teaches the basics of reporting for news and sport, as well as skills in storytelling and photography.
And in Britain, the new Joint Journalism Training Council is being launched to help develop journalism training for converged media, but they said key skills such as news sense, research, interviewing, law and ethics will continue to be the focus of its syllabus.