Paul Carr Debates Jeff Jarvis About So-Called Citizen Journalists

TechCrunch columnist Paul Carr took to New York’s public radio station WNYC yesterday to discuss the pros and cons of citizen journalism in the context of breaking news. Carr was joined by host Brian Lehrer and journalist and academic Jeff Jarvis, a longtime advocate of citizen journalism.

You may recall Paul’s controversial post last weekend which discussed the solider at Fort Hood who tweeted from inside the base during Thursday’s massacre—including posting a Twitpic of a victim and inaccurate reports of the events that took place. Carr delved into the ethical issues regarding this example of citizen journalism gone bad and its greater implications. His column sparked a tsunami of further debate and commentary about both the good and evil of uses of social media.

Carr and Jarvis battled heatedly over the journalistic virtue of witnesses reporting their real-time observations of news and whether the woman in question could be considered a “citizen journalist.” Jarvis came out swinging and it took Carr a while to start jabbing back, probably because the live interview was at an ungodly 6 AM in California, an hour which put our late-night thinker at a distinct and groggy disadvantage. But after a few swipes from Jarvis, Carr finally woke up and rallied. We think Carr won this one, but take a listen and tell us your thoughts!