Dotcom Journalists

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Case studies in new ethical challenges in online journalism

Citizen journalist falsely reports Jobs’ heart attack

By Natalie Johnson, Dotcom Journalists

Due to new technology and the Internet, the definition of a journalist is expanding. Many Web sites now provide platforms for ordinary people, or “citizen journalists” to post news they have created themselves. On such site, iReport.com, allows users to upload news-related articles and videos they have created. The site is run by CNN.com and becoming a “journalist” for the site involves nothing more than filling out a short form and providing an e-mail address. iReport.com does not screen, edit or fact-check uploaded content and makes not guarantee of the accuracy of anything on the site. It’s tagline is “Unedited. Unfiltered. News.”

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‘Bittergate’: Is there such a thing as off the record?

By Jasmine Linabary, Dotcom Journalists

Mayhill Fowler, 61, was much like the others at an invite-only fundraiser for presidential candidate Barack Obama in April 2008 in San Francisco – she was an avid support living in the Bay Area, having contributed nearly the maximum allowed, $2,300, and was holding a recorder. What made her different was that she was also a citizen journalist – a regular contributor to OffTheBus, a blog maintained by a network of 1,800 writers created by the Huffington Post to cover the the campaign (Seelye, 2008).

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