Don’t Call Them Journalists! Some 40,000 Freelance “Examiners” Cranking out Local News for Examiner.com

0607uncheckedmeat Dont Call Them Journalists! Some 40,000 Freelance Examiners Cranking out Local News for Examiner.comToday, Ad Age‘s Edmund Lee writes about Examiner.com, which, with backing from billionaire Philip Anschutz, has become a “a crowd-sourced content play” that publishes a vast amount of local news from more than 40,000 freelance contributors in some 240 neighborhoods around the country and in Canada.

“I hesitate to call them journalists,” CEO Rick Blair tells Mr. Lee. 

Instead, Mr. Blair prefers the term “examiners.”

How is the rise of amateur “examiners” impacting journalism?

Mr. Lee checks in with former New York Observer editor Peter Kaplan:

In assessing the recent rise of so many content farms, Mr. Kaplan referenced Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle,” and perhaps minted a new quote for future observers: “What these sites are producing,” he started before a long pause: “You know what it is? It’s like sending unchecked meats out to the public.”