Pavlik’s piece raised a number of issues around the use of “independent videographers” by the professional news organizations. By “deputizing” these “citizen journalists” the news organizations are able to cut back on their staff and still get up-to-date and “live” feeds of events as they unfold. However, the quality, accuracy and impartiality of the reporting can be compromised because these “citizen journalists” have not been trained to follow the tenets of responsible journalism.
Pavlik also talks of the unfiltered content on the internet and how quite a few of the people who post material on the web are exhibitionists. I often wonder why some people feel the need to share even the most mundane activities in their lives with the whole world. Yet, some postings can be quite interesting and informative, as average citizens can produce video tours of their neighborhoods, cultural traditions, etc. Thereby, providing useful information and demystifying some areas that may not be explored otherwise.
Again, technological advances allow anyone with a cell phone camera to record the events around him ( video & sound) and to post it on the internet, where it will remain in perpetuity, for everyone to see. While this may allow us to become better informed about a variety of issues and events, it may also force us to modify our behavior to be more careful ( read: less genuine and free) about what we do in public, or even in the company of “friends” , because we can’t trust that what we say or do will not come back to embarrass us in the future. Quite a sobering thought!