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Posts Tagged ‘journalism’

#10 – Is citizen journalism an alternative news source?

The Internet has changed how we consume news. In the past, we get our daily dosage of news from the newspapers or television where information was given to us in a one directional – from journalist to readers. Today, while journalism is an essence still delivers news, the source of news has changed. With Internet, citizens have now become the source of news, often even sharing news.

Jay Rosen, an associate professor at New York University, defined citizen journalism as, “the people formerly known as the audience employ(ing) the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another.” The main idea behind citizen journalism is to be an alternative option for people to access news. Its content is generated by non-professional journalist through the means of the Internet such as blogs. According to the document on EDUCAUSE, “citizen journalism encompasses content ranging from user-submitted reviews on a Web site about movies to wiki-based news. Some sites only run stories written by users, while many traditional news outlets now accept comments and even news stories from readers.”

One of the key strengths of citizen journalism is its ability to deliver timely news. The most recent example would be the news of the death of singer Whitney Houston. According to the site here, the news broke 42 minutes by a citizen journalism source before legitimate news agencies specifically Associated Press broke the news. Another example is how news of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks was first reported through citizen journalism. Watch the video below.

While citizen journalism acts as an alternative news source today in providing timely news, issues of credibility and quality of news arises. Professional journalists are trained to provide factual news where facts are checked and presented in a proper format. This is unlike citizen journalism where content, more often than not, are discovered accidentally and snapped through the use of smartphone.

One important note is that the Internet is a crucial tool that helps in disseminating information for citizen journalism. With the Internet, a greater wealth of information is presented to us. However, it is up to us evaluate the information presented. Below is a video of Katie Couric’s Top Citizen Journalism Moments on YouTube, snippets of videos that have been catalysts of change to issues of human rights and more.

So do you think journalism has changed over the years? What impact do you think the Internet has on journalism?