Citizen journalists a part of media landscape

Citizen journalists in theory are the same as regular journalists except that they are not employed by a media outlet. The exact definition according to is, “the involvement of non-professionals in reporting news, especially in blogs and other websites.”

Online citizen journalism

The use of the internet is highly valuable to citizen journalists due to the low cost of online publication. This allows regular people to participate in the media without the kind of funding that the mass media institutions have. There are entire websites like The Uptake and The Third Report that are composed completely of articles provided by everyday regular people who want to participate in the distribution of news. The Third Report does offer 50 percent of the ad revenue from popular articles. Businesses like World News Vine are looking for bloggers to work as free lancers as can be seen in this ad., a wedsite dedicated to educating journalists in their craft as well as enforcing ethical guidlines, has a detailed article explaining the depth of citizen journalism from basic reporting to coverage of serious issues. It makes a strong connection between citizen journalists and the web.

Comic courtesy of

The Pros and Cons of Citizen Journalism

The use of the internet has made citizen journalism easy to publish as well as access but the reporting can get lost among the rest of the “information” that is available online. Because anyone can publish an article online, the reliability of these reports comes into question. The old maxim “Don’t believe everything you hear” comes to mind when using the Internet as a source of information. 

A quote noting some of the problems of informal citizen journalism is that it “brings along with it all of the difficulties of democratic society…incivility, bullying, bias, prejudice, privatization, power struggles,” says Jessica Clark, a MediaShift contributor. “They’re a challenge to each of us to fight for parity, transparency, access and openness.”

For more opinions on the subject check Media Shift. Many of the positives come from citizens as found in these stories found on The Online Journalism Review.

By Ben Jonas

This entry was posted in Media Credibility, Multimedia, News coverage, Reporting and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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