Can citizen journalism be considered as professional journalism? How is it changing newsrooms’ production practices?

What is citizen journalism?

The idea of citizen journalism is the active role of the general public collecting, reporting and publishing news and information themselves. This role has been brought into society in around the past decade with the growth of technology and the internet. The public now have the ability to witness news and share it globally on online platforms in a matter of seconds. This has given us a new field of journalism, which has had both negative and positive outcomes on the journalism profession. Citizen journalism has allowed more extraneous information like reports from war zones to be easily collected and shared with the world, giving people the chance to have media revealed instantaneously that would not have been available. An example of citizen reporting is the footage from the attack at Woolwich in 2013 where a man was beheaded in the street as an act of terrorism. Professional news reporters would not have been there instantly as the attack happened to gain this important interaction with the man who committed the crime, however a member of the public who was at the location managed to get this video of the explanation of the murder, this is live information of the event as it took place, all a reporter could do was speak to witnesses after the event occurred.

This concept of the public being journalists is ultimately inevitable due to the development of smartphones and social media for example Facebook, it is an easy way to broadcast an event. Especially now with Facebook’s inclusion of a live video broadcasting ability, you can upload and get your post viral within an hour. However there are unfavourable factors to this new citizen journalism, one of these being that it is unregulated, which means it may not be accurate, and there may be an issue with the quality of the information or coverage.



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