National Union of Journalists Running Scared

Britain’s National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has issued a Code of Conduct for Citizen Journalists (or what they call Witness Contributors), following an actually quite sensible sounding discussion at The Guardian.

The Code reeks of fear and attempted protectionist practices and you can read more about it on Neil McIntosh’s blog, Complete Tosh here. Neil is a “proper” journo, so his criticism needn’t be viewed as envy by writers who don’t get paid.

However, my problem with the Code is twofold.

Firstly, it attempts to restrict the role of Citizen Journalists to those people who witness breaking news stories in the flesh. So it ignores the efforts of millions of bloggers, as an example. Sounds a little like denial, no?

But more importantly, what are they doing creating a Code for Citizen Journalists in the first place and why should we adhere to it anyway? Isn’t it a bit like the ancient Senate of Rome seeking to impose a Code on the invading Barbarians?

Story via Alfie’s Blog. Image from Genre Online

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