Unlike traditional newsroom journalists, “citizen journalists” have no formal way to ensure that everyone maintains similar quality standards. Which does not mean that quality standards are necessarily (or consistently) maintained at traditional newsrooms, but rather that a traditional hierarchical editorial structure imposes at least theoretical guidelines.
By definition, citizen journalism’s inherent difference from the traditional editorial process is the dispersion of responsibility for editorial choice. Nonetheless, “trustiness” in journalism is a concept still heavily dependent on a reporter’s or editor’s reputation. Is the New York Times trusted because it’s trustworthy? Or is it trustworthy because it’s trusted?