Citizen Journalism–helping or hurting journalism’s credibility?

   Citizen journalism is controversial.  Some believe that it hurts the credibility of journalism, while others believe it plays an active role in journalism through different modes of technology. In a society being dominated by blogs, twitter, and facebook; some say citizen journalism is a reality.

Reporters are accrediting “citizen journalism” for the reports of violence that erupted after the Giants won the World Series.  The public was able to get more informed by the pictures being uploaded to twitter than they would have from traditional media.  Many avid facebook and twitter users get a source of their news from status updates on these social sites.

Countries like Iran with little journalism rights are also encouraging citizen journalism in an effort to expand their news.

A great thing about the United States is we are allowed to say and post what we want; it’s a rite of passage.  Social services like facebook make it easy for a person to display any information to a wide variety of people; however this information could be false. 

How can we call what people post on facebook and twitter citizen “journalism”? Shouldn’t we leave the journalism up to the journalists and just separate these social mediums?

An article about the negatives of citizen journalism explains that citizen journalism and “actual” journalism aspire for different results.  Actual journalism is hours on the phone nailing down facts, not just updating your status.

Some say citizen journalism is a reality; I say we need to make a distinction between the different types of journalism out there.  As social networks continue to expand and become more popular, citizen journalism will remain a source of “status updates” and “tweets”. 

Picture: http://www.editorsweblog.org/special.php?tag=citizen%20journalism

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