In my prior post about UGA Associate Professor David Hazinsky’s ridiculous commentary about "citizen journalists," I noted his call for monitoring and regulation. Interestingly, he stated this about unregulated journalism ” "the reality is it really isn’t journalism at all, and it opens up information flow to the strong probability of fraud and abuse." He also states –
But we have already seen the line between news and entertainment blur enough to destroy significant credibility. Continuing to do nothing as information flow changes will further erode it. Journalism organizations who choose to do nothing may soon find the line between professional and citizen journalism gone as well as the trust of their audiences.
He goes as far as to believe that such "citizen journalists" should take classes and be certified –
Journalism schools such as mine at the University of Georgia should create mini-courses to certify citizen journalists in proper ethics and procedures, much as volunteer teachers, paramedics and sheriff’s auxiliaries are trained and certified.
While these comments alone are enough to embarass UGA, let’s think about the terms I highlighted — fraud, abuse, credibility, ethics …
Now let’s take a look at Hazinsky’s other job. According to his page on the UGA website, Hazinski owns Intelligent Media Consultants. What does this business do? From its website, here is part of their business –
IMC has trained hundreds of journalists. We have proven programs for all aspects of news and content production. We go beyond the mechanics of an operation to try and instill a passion about story telling. IMC employes [sic] world class journalists who are passionate about their craft and enjoy teaching what they know.
We can craft a training package for new journalists or specialized continuing education courses for existing operations. All of our training involves ongoing student evaluation, so you as an employer get qualitative feedback on your employees, or potential employees.
IMC primary training typically involves Newsgathering, Writing, Assignments, Shooting, Editing and Producing. Technical training for control room operation and master control operations can also be arranged based on workflow.
IMC offers its own training certificates for participants and in some cases may be able to offer continuing education credit.
(emphasis added by SR)
Turns out Hazinsky apparently has a paying job competing with the "citizen journalists," or training those who compete. So much for the "credibility" he wants us to believe is so important to him.
"Citizen Journalists" cutting into your business, David? Want to make sure you are first in line to provide that "training" and "certification?" Don’t want "citizen journalists" to find out exactly what you are running? It is certainly good to know that IMC "employes" world class journalists.
UGA administrators, students, and clients and potential clients of Intelligent Media Consultants should take note of Hazinsky’s actions, and consider what "fraud," "abuse," "credibility", "ethics" and other such terms really mean.