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Accidental journalism

As we we’ve continued to talk about citizen journalism and citizen media, I’ve come to think there may be a class of citizen journalism that could be an important part of the new ecosystem: Accidental journalism. Or possibly it should be called incidental journalism. Or may be accidental/incidental coverage. Anyway, the idea is that journalism may come to rely on coverage of events by citizens who are writing them up not to provide coverage but for their own more personal reasons.

This has already happened at times. Will it become an important and semi-reliable part of the ecosystem? I dunno. Maybe.

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5 Responses to “Accidental journalism”

  1. […] Accidental journalism. A very short post from David Weinberger, helping to expand/refine the definitions that go with citizen journalism. The challenge for existing media is to capture this stuff. […]

  2. Examples?

  3. Johne, yes examples would sure be helpful, damn you! Perhaps some of what goes on at placeblog aggregators, where people are writing about what’s going on not in order to Report On It or be Citizen Journalists but because it’s interesting to them, of value to neighbors, etc.

  4. I think he means stuff posted that is not presented as news.

    Examples from my own LJ:
    in chronologically reverse order.

    A lot depends on what one considers “journalism”. I post stuff that I think is interesting for those who may read my blog. Even if it is only me and my “proofer” (my wife). But incidental readers might find the subject matter relevant.

    When someone wants information about a subject, particularly something of a non-transient nature, and learns something from an amateur source, that is useful to him/her, is that a journalistic result? I have Tabblos of this nature. Most of them no one gives a s**t about but others are popping up in search engine results regularly.

    So, David’s premise depends on the definition of “journalism”, IMO.

  5. I think there should be other terms besides “citizen journalism” – but I don’t know if incidental or accidental is right.

    Here’s how I break down some of the more often used phrases.

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