Posted by: Ciaran | June 1, 2010

User-generated content: a bigger issue for the written word?

This article in Haaretz got me thinking about whether user-generated content (UGC) is more of an issue for print and online journalists, as opposed to broadcasters.

Does Pierre Asselin’s argument that to truly be a journalist you must first spend time in a newsroom really matter any more?

I don’t think so. There are certain things which might make someone’s work more legitimate – and obviously accreditation and experience in a professional environment is going to help that.

But with the unlimited space of the internet, everyone can be a publisher.

And as more and more people start blogging and creating hyperlocal news sites, it becomes harder and harder to regulate.

Asselin contends that the issue isn’t the same for broadcasters, but I think he’s wrong.

With the right hardware and software – but often something as simple as an iPhone and a few apps – people can make their own radio shows and set them up as podcasts, or post their own videos on to YouTube.

Yes, maybe we’re a while away from people turning to their YouTube subscriptions instead of switching on the news, but we’re also still far from a situation where people choose to get all of the news and views from websites which are not affiliated to professional outlets.



  1. Many people out there can write. Whether they can do it well, or in a journalistic way is another matter.

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