Terms of Authority

Alternative sources of news such as the Internet have made readers "more assertive and far less in awe of the press" than before, writes Jay Rosen. He highlights the case of Chris Allbritton, a former AP and New York Daily News reporter who became "the Web's first independent war correspondent," raising donor funds to support his weblog reporting on Iraq. "The Internet did the rest," Rosen writes. "On March 27, his reporting drew 23,000 users to his site, thus proving, not that anyone in the public can perhaps be a journalist, but that anyone who is a journalist can have a mini-public on the Net." Unlike traditional journalism, Albritton's site also lets readers participate as journalists themselves, as in the recent exchange between Sheldon Rampton and Australian journalist Eric Campbell regarding TV cameraman Paul Moran's relationship to the Rendon Group.