2/23/12

Citizen Journalists: Syrian Rami Al-Sayed Died in This Week While On the Job

Bloggers who publish news for their readers don't get the label of journalist these days - the best they can hope for is the label "citizen journalist," even when they die while covering a story with the depth, breath, and importance of anything covered by a traditional media source.

Lawyers Understand the Professional Frustration Felt by Traditional Journalists

As a lawyer, I understand the professional frustration: it's a complex reaction to technological advances that seem to make years of advanced education and professional experience unimportant and unnecessary. Lawyers compete with RocketLawyer, LegalZoom, and local streamlined legal processes in many jurisdictions.

That's a lot to bear even before considering outsourcing to India. Where's the unauthorized practice of law hatchet? What about the need to consider an individual's circumstances, the personal expertise that the attorney brings to the table?

No matter. Times are changing and lawyers are having to deal with those changes.

Journalists are going to have to do this, too. Which brings me to this citizen journalist thing. 

Today's news brings with it the sad report that a blogger operating out of Syria named Rami Ahmad Al-Sayed, who posted videos and messages online to share with the world what was is happening right now in Syria, has died. (Check out his YouTube offerings here.)

Blogger Rami Ahmad Al-Sayed was 27 years old, and leaves behind a wife and tiny daughter. This young man risked his life in order to report (and yes, that is what he was doing) on the military assault that is happening right now in Homs, Syria.

He brought news to the world in the same way that those crusty, courageous journalists do that we recognize with pride here in America: those that risk their lives to get the story out as "war correspondents." 

 The story is this: Syria is killing thousands of people right now and Syria is blocking all outside communications as best it can. No internet, no cell phones, you get the idea.

Al-Sayed was brave and bold and because of him, we know some of what is going on in Syria today. That's reporting. That's journalism.

Still, read the news of his passing today and the best you'll see is coverage of his death and the label "citizen journalist" or "video blogger" ... and in one main stream media story, he gets the bottom couple of paragraphs in a story covering the death of a traditional journalist who also died this week.

God bless Rami Ahmad Al-Sayed for his work, condolences to his family. A journalist died this week trying to share truth - and that's the bottom line, folks.
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