Shaping the future: User-generated content (UGC) has been used by all media since long before the internet became a worldwide phenomenon. One of the most famous examples was the Rodney King beating by Los Angeles police in 1991 – captured by a member of the public on a camcorder and seen all over the world. [...]
The issue of user-generated content is not an issue of technology; it is one of defending quality journalism. This is not to say that all user-generated content is bad or that there are no quality blogs, but professional journalism, adequately funded and resourced, plays a role in society and democracy that needs to be defended.
Few citizens, however enthusiastic, will be keen to sit through council meetings or in court all day in the hopes that they will find a story without being paid. Few bloggers, even if they manage to monetise their blogs, will have the resources to carry out major long-term investigations and research that could amount to nothing.
User-generated content, while it has a role in modern media, is not a replacement for quality professional journalism.