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Learning from this week’s crash course in citizen journalism…

As newspapers and other traditional media outlets continue to lay off reporters and even shut down their printing presses, one of the big questions has been what will fill the gap that is left — where will the journalism come from? In some cases, papers are outsourcing hyperlocal reporting to services such as Journatic (which has been criticized for a series of ethical lapses), but this week we’ve seen signs that something else could help as well: namely, amateurs committing what Andy Carvin of NPR has called “random acts of journalism.” They may not replace the traditional journalism we’re used to, but they are certainly going to help, and they could even bring additional benefits that mainstream journalism doesn’t provide.

Gigaom

As newspapers and other traditional media outlets continue to lay off reporters and even shut down their printing presses, one of the big questions has been what will fill the gap that is left — where will the journalism come from? In some cases, papers are outsourcing hyperlocal reporting to services such as Journatic (which has been criticized for a series of ethical lapses), but this week we’ve seen signs that something else could help as well: namely, amateurs committing what Andy Carvin of NPR has called “random acts of journalism.” They may not replace the traditional journalism we’re used to, but they are certainly going to help, and they could even bring additional benefits that mainstream journalism doesn’t provide.

The first example of this came on Monday, when gang-related gunfire broke out at a party in Toronto, Ontario and two people were killed. Before mainstream media sources…

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