Citizen journalist- friend or foe?

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By Natasha Colbaugh

I have said before, and I’ll say it again, I take pride in my work.

I knew before I started school that I wanted to be a writer. Majoring in journalism I studied the profession. Years later I am still learning the tricks of the trade.

The problem I have is with some people masquerading as journalists. It has taken me years to understand and implement the Associated Press style of writing, to actively engage the audience in one sentence and to compassionately write heartbreaking stories in a newsworthy tone.

It’s not easy.

Yet there are some people who can’t figure out what they are supposed to do with their lives. They try politics and that doesn’t work, so they take up a pen and introduce themselves as a journalist. I am offended.

The newspaper industry is so delicate. The flimsy black and white pages are almost obsolete in many households. The one thing we have left is our credibility.

I don’t know the intentions of citizen journalists. But I consider it intrusion when someone calls himself a reporter and then flamboyantly inserts himself into a meeting. How can anyone be unbiased and report on an issue when they become personally involved in the discussion?

I believe in freedom of speech.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and should be able to express it openly.  But I am fed up with citizen journalism all over the Internet and other unqualified people attempting to cover the news. In my opinion these individuals are disrespecting the profession.

Take a class, read a book or learn some journalist ethics- just don’t give yourself a title and expect me to give you the respect it deserves.