TechCrunch writer Paul Carr, Jeff Jarvis spar over citizen journalism ethics and accuracy

November 12th, 2009 by Chris Hogg Leave a reply »

If you’ve been following the world of citizen journalism in the wake of the tragedy that struck at Fort Hood, you’re likely familiar with the debate that has emerged about ethics in reporting and whether or not citizen journalists went too far in reporting the shooting.

For those of you who haven’t heard of the debate, here’s the primer: Paul Carr, a columnist for the blog TechCrunch wrote a controversial post that chastised a citizen journalist’s coverage in the wake of the Fort Hood shooting. Then, a soldier at Fort Hood was using Twitter to post updates as they happened. The person also uploaded an image of a soldier being rushed into hospital. In the post, Carr brought up ethical questions around a citizen journalist uploading an image of a wounded soldier and asked about the implications of incorrect information being disseminated on Twitter.

Was this soldier wrong to tweet about what was happening? What are the implications of reporting incorrect information via social media? Is “process journalism” dangerous because facts are not always clear in the moment? Was it wrong to upload an image of a wounded solider?

These are among the talking points currently being debated in the media sphere.

For those of you interested in learning more, and hearing both sides of the argument, I’m embedding a radio debate below. The debate is between the TechCrunch author Paul Carr and journalist Jeff Jarvis, a strong supporter of citizen media, on New York’s public radio station WNYC. Carr defended his article, while Jarvis comes out swinging.

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