Citizen Journalism

Citizen journalism is present in the everyday society through the use of the internet and mobile technologies. The basic idea of the news and how it is being presented and captured is experiencing a fundamental shift in society. Nearly 60% of people are not using Facebook as a recurring news source while magazines and newspapers struggle to keep up with the news. Many people express the idea that traditional news outlets have become slow in reporting news and in some cases have too much of an underlined agenda in their reporting.

Citizen journalism has the opportunity and the tools of modern technology and a limitless reach of the internet to create content that would probably not have been revealed without. This new system of journalism allows for independent parties to create a wide range of relevant information that can be seen as crucial to a democratic society.


Citizen journalism can be a very powerful tool, as individuals can bring aspects of information to the forefront of a case. An example of this would be the news release of Jamaica’s constabulary communication network which indicated that a man who was shot and killed by police attacked them first. However, citizens that were witnesses to this case circulated a video of the attack that told a very different story to the one that the police were circulating. It was seen through the footage that the man had in fact been attacked and beaten by the police officers before being shot whilst lying subdued on the ground. In this case, citizen journalism was a very important aspect of evidence that revealed the truth of the encounter.

However, citizen journalism doesn’t always go as planned. During the Boston bombings, there was a search for the suspect on the website Reddit. There were unchecked facts which lead the manhunt to the wrong man who was found to be dead from suicide. The website Reddit is a valuable resource which allows users to post and aggregate content in a way that could have really helped the investigation, however, due to the wrong facts in the event found to have gone off track.

Citizen journalism is great, especially when it’s done through the right platforms and with the right information.





2 thoughts on “Citizen Journalism

  1. I really liked your post on citizen journalism. You really looked at both the positives and negatives of citizen journalism as a concept. I personally think it is the way of the future. I watch more YouTube “news” channels than actually new on the TV.
    I think that where citizen journalism exceeds is reporting on the niche topics. I follow a lot of movie news on YouTube from people who I would consider as citizen journalists. By no means do they have journalism degrees or write for major papers, they are just a bunch of people getting together talking about movies. Most of the channels I watch have progressed from people doing in their spare time do being actually jobs and brands that are known for their reporting. Great post.


  2. This generation especially expects nothing but the most innovative and up to date form of technology, and in this case news as it happens. Newbid is a app created by Mark Orval, all ‘Angry Dad’ which many people know him as, that allows online users to crowd source any news worthy items for cash rewards.
    This form of sourcing reflects the cultural shift of informational access you are referring to. Great blog!


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