Canadian Journalists for Free Expression honoured Paul Pritchard with its first
ever Citizen
Journalism Award
on Tuesday. Pritchard recorded Robert Dziekanski
being tasered to death in the Vancouver
airport, and then fought a public battle to free the video from the RCMP. In a media statement
the CJFE commended Pritchard for having “the courage to bear witness and do the
right thing.” Pritchard himself has doubts about his actions that night,
revealing in a candid CBC
interview
that he feels guilty for not trying to help Dziekanski. Pritchard
said he doesn’t feel that taking a video makes him a journalist, despite the
award.

“If only us real journalists were that effective,” counters veteran
reporter Terry Milewski in this opinion
piece
. Pritchard’s own take on his role is perhaps best mirrored in this essay by Clyde H. Bentley, which argues citizen journalists are to journalism what militia members
are to the military, contributing vital information but leaving the core job to
professionals.

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression honoured Paul Pritchard with its first ever Citizen Journalism Award on Tuesday. Pritchard recorded Robert Dziekanski being tasered to death in the Vancouver airport, and then fought a public battle to free the video from the RCMP. In a media statement the CJFE commended Pritchard for having “the courage to bear witness and do the right thing.” Pritchard himself has doubts about his actions that night, revealing in a candid CBC interview that he feels guilty for not trying to help Dziekanski. Pritchard said he doesn’t feel that taking a video makes him a journalist, despite the award.

 

“If only us real journalists were that effective,” counters veteran reporter Terry Milewski in this opinion piece. Pritchard's own take on his role is perhaps best mirrored in this essay by Clyde H. Bentley, which argues citizen journalists are to journalism what militia members are to the military, contributing vital information but leaving the core job to professionals.

Patricia W. Elliott is a magazine journalist and assistant professor at the School of Journalism, University of Regina. You can visit her at patriciaelliott.ca.