Thursday, 23 July 2009

Citizen Journalism? Get A Life.

Skimming through the Daily Mail this morning, I spotted this photo of Steven Gerrard leaving court yesterday.

Look closely at it.

Now explain to me why at least seven - yes count them yourself - SEVEN of the teenagers are trying to 'photograph' Gerrard on their mobile phones!

What is that all about? I can understand the desire for an autograph. Perhaps the chance for a brief chat with their footballing idol.

But what possible souvenir value is there in a shaky video clip of his left ear? Or a blurred shot of the back of Gerrard's head? Do these kids all get together afterwards and compare the results? I would love to see them too, so I could point at them and laugh.

I've seen similar at movie premieres, when the stars "work the crowd", signing autographs. Tom Cruise is one of those who gets up close and seems to genuinely try to chat with the fans. Pity old Tom when the fans prefer instead to simply shove their mobile phone into his face and take snapshots.

I'd like to ask these teenagers, are the snaps intended to remember the moment by? Well WHAT moment?? You missed the moment because you were too busy trying to peer at the viewfinder on your stupid little phone! You wasted your chance for a real encounter with your idol, and a ridiculous 30-second clip will not recapture that.

Citizen journalism can be amazing. A video clip of a burning oil depot, filmed long before any TV crews could arrive? Excellent. Footage of the aftermath of a Tube train bombing? Brave and informative.

Blurry phone clips, probably of nothing more useful than the celebrity's feet? Get a life.