Nobody who uses the Internet or watches news programmes on TV can be unaware of the phenomenon of ‘citizen journalism’, found everywhere from personal blogs to sites like OhmyNews and Dan Gillmor’s Bayosphere to the BBC, CNN, Sky and every other news outlet where people are invited to send in photos, videos or eyewitness reports of any newsworthy event they happen to witness.

Journalist and website editor Bill Thompson discusses the likely impact of this new form of journalism on the mainstream media, attempting to place it in a historic context both technically and in terms of the way journalism has developed. He looks at the ethical issues which new forms of newsgathering and publication raise, both for contributors and for the news organisations which use their material, and consider how those training tomorrow’s journalists should respond.

About the speakers

  • Bill Thompson

    Technology critic and essayist

    New media pioneer Bill Thompson has been working in, on and around the Internet since 1984. Formerly head of new media at Guardian newspapers, he writes a weekly column, the BillBlog, for BBC News online and a monthly feature for new new users for BBC Webwise. He contributes to other publications both on and off-line including The Register, The New Statesman and The Guardian. He appears weekly on ‘Go Digital’ on the BBC World Service and occasionally on other BBC radio and television programmes.