Citizen journalism is a situation when a citizen records news with his or her camera or writes what he or she sees. But citizens are not used to the moral dilemmas that the journalists usually witnesses and is trained to cope with. So, it is harder for the citizens to make decisions in some situations.
A person walking on the street might witness a fight and he might face the choice of saving the person who is being hurt or record it – to use it philanthropically or to sell it to some news channel and earn money. A real example for this is the Ian Tomlinson case. The citizen who witnessed and recordedthe event of police beating up an innocent walker by might have wanted to help him. Moral dilemma is a very powerful feeling that can ruin one’s psychology. Knowing that someone is suffering or dying because of your lack of help would be awful; the guilt feeling would stick in your head forever.
In Stanford Prison Experiment, the students who participated were healthy, normal youngsters and after the experiment they were kind of in a trauma. They were treated badly during the experiment and Professor Zimbardo and his colleagues were just observing. Maybe we can relate this to citizen journalism and journalism. We can say that citizen journalists may feel like the students in the experiment and the journalist may be the professors. Citizen journalists may feel this moral dilemma because they are not used to see or witness those horrible situations and the fact that they can’t help and just record might make them feel guilty and sad for a long time but journalists are used to these events, they were educated for this job so they know how to deal with the moral dilemma.
Professionalism comes with a cost; the cost being the years of education and experience to teach how to be callused.