Citizen journalism is increasingly popular because of the Internet. The Internet enables citizen journalism. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube make citizen journalism accessible, free, and easy.
What is “Citizen Journalism”?
- Journalism Citizen journalism informs the public about news. It educates, informs, teaches, or touches the audience. If news is anything people talk about, then citizen journalism shares, spreads, and analyzes the news. Sounds just like journalism, right?
- Made up of Non-Professionals The source of citizen journalism is the audience. It is not from trained reporters. Everyday people share their experiences.
- Democratic Free speech is an essential element of citizen journalism. The Internet allows more people have the freedom to speak. There is equality for citizen journalists. Citizen journalism can even be used as a form of spreading the ideas of democracy. Recently, Egyptians were prohibited from using citizen journalism but still used it to move towards democracy.
- Open Publishing Anyone can contribute to the news. The Internet is open to anyone. Once again, no professional training is required.
- Collaborative Editing Corrections can be made to an individual’s contribution. This works as a check to make sure the reporting remains accurate.
Types of Citizen Journalism
- Blogs Ta-da! This is a blog! Blogs are a website or a part of a website written by an individual. Commentary is updated regularly. Compared to a news report, blogs are more casual. Anyone can create a blog. There is equal opportunity to be a citizen journalist with the use of a blog.
- Multimedia Sharing photos and videos on the web is a form of citizen journalism. Camera phones make sharing photos and videos easier. Citizen journalists’ images are valuable to the public because they provide a unique perspective.
- News Websites Formal online news sources understand the value of citizen journalism. Newspapers online include blogs, comment boxes, and other contributions from non-reporters. CBS created Eye Mobile for citizen journalism. Other online news sources are exclusively for citizen journalists such as the Drudge Report.
If anyone can contribute to the news, how does it stay accurate? Is citizen journalism valuable? Are you a citizen journalist? Practice citizen journalism now. Create your own blog. Contribute photos and videos.