What if the news was to become largely an amorphous mass of information contributed by virtually anonymous iReporters? We hope we're not headed there, but as the traditional media contract in numbers and CNN's iReport (more than 1 million registered "reporters") keeps gathering steam, the question is at least pertinent. Whom does PR influence when there aren't any point persons (i.e. beat reporters) to call?
These not-so-fanciful questions are raised by a PR Coach blog post, "One Million iReporters: Is PR Ready?" iReporting already has a confounding name: Citizen journalism.
Jeff Domansky notes in his PR Coach report that, while information could be flowing in from a host of citizen sources, it needs to be broadcast through a given channel (like CNN) and, presumably, the "editors" there are a point of influence. But CNN acknowledges that it vets ("thoroughly evaluates," says Webster) "only 8 per cent of the 500-plus iReport stories it receives daily." The fact that iReports typically have more to do with crowd scenes in "breaking news" than organizational doings may be of little solace. Journalism, it may well be, is becoming steadily less of a gate-keeper's endeavor.
In any event, Jeff Domansky's post seems to be on the cusp of things and, therefore, well worth your attention.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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