Citizen journalism no hit with the journalist union

The Swedish Union of Journalists (SJF) calls Metro’s editor-in-chief Sakari Pitkänen the “grave-digger of journalism” after initiating a project involving citizen journalists in areas in the Stockholm region that today are not covered by daily news media. SJF says about the project:

“It’s an insult not only to journalism, but also to readers/citizens.”

The Swedish Union of Journalists has about 18,000 members, a figure already surpassed by the number of Swedish bloggers. Let’s face it, like SJF say, journalism is a profession, but journalists are not the only ones that should be allowed to comment on different topics. What’s so wrong with involving citizens in the public debate, as bloggers, readers or “citizen reporters”?

“It’s about collecting and supplying relevant information that the ordinary citizen don’t have time and resources to sort out.”

Sure, but I think today’s media consumers are able to distinguish the difference between information on an unknown website, a semi-professional blog, and a news article by a well know journalist. And, value it accordingly.

Sakari Pitkänen responds to accusations that he is devaluing the journalist profession:

“If there was something to devalue, then that’s what I would be doing. But there’s not. There is no journalism out there today.”