Here’s a thought-provoking piece from The Guardian’s new “Destination Docs” blog.
Kate Bullkley writes about the increasing importance of citizen journalism, news content that’s produced by non-professionals. Specifically, the article explores the potential positive and negative effects of these videos and photos on professional documentary filmmaking. For video journalists and documentary-makers, this type of amateur content poses the inherent risks of all ill-sourced, non-professional material. But, of course, it’s also a treasure trove of close-to-the-action footage that the pros sometimes miss.
For example, the now-infamous photo above was taken by student Louise Macabitas, an amateur photographer who witnessed the pepper-spraying of UC Davis students by police during the Occupy protest on the campus. She's not a pro journalist, but the image became a symbol of the clash between police and protesters (not to mention, an internet meme).
So how do professional journalists incorporate amateur video and photos in a way that draws on the power of the raw images without out discrediting their own reporting? Get creative and show us how, Storyhunters!