According to Spanish journalist Juan Varela at Periodistas 21
we still have much to learn about how citizen journalism can contribute to a story such as the recent metro accident in Valencia.
The Editors Weblog
reports that the mainstream media in Spain gathered much of its information and images from people at the scene. According to Varela, how we use this new 'feed' presents new challenges to journalists.
* the division between testimonies that help to understand information about a tragedy versus those which only feed morbid visions of the event
* since journalism is a labour of verification, more work needs to be done by editors to make sure that images and text aren't manipulated
* mainstream media also needs to distinguish between first-hand accounts of a story and opinion from those who may be expressing their feelings about an event
* because mainstream news organizations know that their website traffic augments significantly with galleries, they must maintain the same standards of photography with citizen contributions that they do with professional photography in order not to compromise themselves
* too many citizen contributions just creates noise. The MSM must edit so that the audience doesn't become confused by too much information