Citizen journalists are usually passionate about what they cover. That’s the problem. As a journalist you can’t be passionate about it because
- you are supposed to be impartial (this doesn’t mean you don’t care; it means you listen with a detached but compassionate ear). And I reject arguments that this is not possible. Of course it’s not always possible, but it’s an aspiration. That’s the key difference
- you may have to cover something you don’t care about. A professional journalist would cover a topic whether they cared about it or not; that’s what a professional does.
I’m not rejecting citizen journalism. I’m arguing that citizen journalism is a deeply flawed model if it’s supposed to supplant traditional journalism, because it’s rooted in a misunderstanding of what the profession actually does.