Citizen Journalism, A New Age

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Central Park Shopping Centre, 2015

From bored Berkley students blocking university gates in protest to citywide Baltimore riots to horrific avalanches at the Mount Everest base camp, any upstanding citizen with a smartphone can quickly deliver on-site news updates to the world faster than any legacy media or news corporation ever could.

We live in a digital age.

Every man, woman and child has the ability to broadcast news at arms each.

It’s the rise of citizen journalism. While phone cameras and internet videos do threaten TV viewers and traditional media platforms, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It means that current issues of the here and now are covered quickly, instantly through social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

While citizen journalism is something needed in this day and age, it doesn’t come with its own risks. Citizen journalism isn’t meant to replace the traditional journalist. It isn’t meant to replace a professional journalist’s job. The main difference is the gap in accurate, factual information. With professional journalists and big news programs you can still assume in this day and age that the information, the news you’re getting is absolutely correct.

However with citizen journalism, particularly the low quality videos and images and the incredibly quick reporting of events, every piece of news has to be taken with a grain of salt. Not every citizen with a camera pointed at a journalist’s big break has enough information, not every citizen is informed enough to be the main source of news to the masses.

Citizen Journalism is a process in contrast to traditional mainstream media. Information presented from other citizens is vastly important, get it right and the world reaps the benefits. Get it wrong and you’ve got nothing more than gossip and rumors.

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