What were those photos?

I don’t usually write self-referential posts, but now that I’m finally home I want to explain those last two photographs.

I was invited to be a part of panel on Media and Technology. Hosted by the Florida Humanities Council, and for Polk County teachers, the panel was part of an all day seminar entitled “News Matters: Ethics and Issues in the Press”

My fellow panel members were Barry Friedman, Managing Editor-Digital for the Ledger, and Ellyn Angelotti, Interactivity Editor for Poynter Online.

I used my camera phone during the discussion merely to demonstrate the real time aspect of covering news. With very simple tools — an old camera phone, flickr, and an almost free website — citizens have the opportunity to join the chorus of news producers.

Does the technology make them journalists?

No, but it does make them reporters. Youtube has proved anyone can be a witness to news and “report” the event. I just think it takes more to be a journalist.

The journalist will take the additional steps to analyze, interpret, and prove relevance for her readers. Journalists must operate on a platform of ethics, accountability, verifiability, and revealed bias.

Do I believe main stream media has monopoly on those traits? Of course not. They are also present also in the well-written citizen news sites.

However, teachers, parents, librarians, and journalists are going to have to knuckle down to teach our children how to find those traits in all journalists — main stream and citizen.

How they can do that I’ll leave as home work for the reader.

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