Citizen Journalism: Effective or Defective?

A major key to citizen journalism is the general public itself. Especially through the world wide web, citizen journalism is being used a huge factor into getting news and media out to the public. Many huge news outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Buzzfeed, etc., use this to their advantage in getting stories and columns. In the articles “iReporting and Uprising” and “Mini Cameras and Maxi Minds”, Lindsay Palmer and Gregory Paschalidis discuss photojournalism and citizen journalism and its growing popularity online and its effect on the profession of journalism itself.

Journalism’s purpose is to get stories and important news to the people. Nowadays, citizen journalism (which obviously includes the general public instead of just professional journalists), is taking over the internet and effect news outlets everywhere. For instance, in the article by Gregory Paschalidis, he notes that “The CNN brand has the power to shape knowledge about and impact interventions into world affairs” (Palmer 369). This “power” has grown immensely over time and still changes as information technology does as well. I was shocked to learn how popular publicly made media has grown over the past couple of years. Paschalidis also says that “citizen journalists’ enrichment of professional labor was largely due to their ability to capture footage of breaking news on their smartphones with a speed that could not always be matched by professional journalists monopoly on meaning itself” (Palmer 372). It is compelling to know that even I could participate in citizen journalism by just using social media apps like twitter, facebook, and instagram. The author though comments that if anyone could be a citizen journalist, then it could lead to “a frenzy of competing meanings” (Palmer 372). So although, I could participate in citizen journalism, it would be wise to leave that to more credible sources.

In the article “Mini Cameras and Maxi Minds”, Gregory Paschalidis discusses the problematic aspect of citizen journalism from history and experience in the past few years. Citizen journalism was once praised but then “the focus moved onto the problematic practices of amateur photographers, their ignorance of the technical, aesthetic and, above all, ethical standards of professional journalism” (Paschalidis 638). This mostly endangered the credibility and ethics of photojournalism. I often forget about the people in our society that have the job as a professional journalist, and their jobs being slightly taken over by the general public. Pictures these days, are often the most famous way of depicting news stories in media. “User-generated imagery” has been a key to the “traditionally depreciated practice of amateur photography and in enriching current debates about citizen journalism” (Paschalidis 640). Both articles talk about citizen journalism and discuss the pros and cons of the occupation. Although, citizen journalism can be effective in informing the public, it is also depreciating the practice of professional journalism and leads to problems in credibility and ethics.

 


 

Works Cited

Palmer, Lindsay. “‘iReporting” and Uprising: CNN and Citizen Journalism in Network Culture”. Television & New Media, 2012, pp.367-383, http://journals.sagepub.com/home/tvn. Accessed 23 March 2017.

 

Paschalidis, Gregory. “Mini Cameras and Maxi Minds: Citizen Journalism and The Public Sphere”. Digital Journalism, 2015, pp.634-649, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21670811.2015.1034529. Accessed 23 March 2017.

 

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Donors & Funding- Research Post 3

“UnKoch My Campus: Opposing Billionaires’ Efforts to Infiltrate Higher Education”- Truthout

This article presents the Koch Brothers as men who use well-funded attempts to promote their pro-business agenda. The pair have given “$109,778,257 to 308 colleges across the country”. The Koch brothers have been a generous donor to George Mason University for many years and are responsible for big projects such as the Antonin Scalia Law School name change, etc. The article goes into depth of all the money the Koch Brothers have donated to many colleges along the east coast. I plan to use this article for my project on donations and funding for George Mason University, to compare how much the Koch brothers do for our university compared to others. I also plan to research and see if their donations have a positive or negative affect on said campuses in the country. The Koch Brothers, being fairly conservative often bump heads on liberal campus, where most of their controversies,toward what they could be affecting in the universities, occurs.

Donors & Funding- Research Post 2

“The Donation That Renamed George Mason’s Law School After Scalia Sure Has Some Weird Rules Attached” – The Washingtonian 

This article that I have chosen to use in my research on donors and funding at George Mason University is written by Benjamin Freed of the Washingtonian.  The article was published in May of last year, still making it pretty recent, and talks about the huge controversy of naming George Mason’s Law School after the late supreme court judge Antonin Scalia. Like the Koch Brothers’ controversy, conversative views on a very liberal campus spark conflict. In this case, many students did not want their law school to be named after a judge who did not have similar views of the students, and whose name would be put on their diploma for the rest of their lives. Another main point this article looks into, is the terms and conditions of the law school agreement, which is very odd considering it talks about how the donor must always be informed of the law schools’ changes in dean, policies, etc. I plan to look more closely into the deal and find more on the agreement conditions of the donor.

Donors & Funding- Research Post 1

“Students Sue George Mason Over Koch Brother Donation Records” -Washington Business Journal

This article that I am using for my Donors and Funding Research is written by Tina Reed, a staff reporter from the Washington Business Journal. The article informs the public that the students at George Mason University are suing the university due to the controversy of the it’s popular donors, The Koch Brothers. The Koch Brothers are an huge part of donations here at George Mason University, and my research on Donors and Funding mostly revolves around the Brothers. The article gives me financial statistics of all the money the Koch Brothers have donated, and their main controversy of how students fear that the Brothers’ conservative views will affect student research, policies, and many other academic freedoms. The writer also implements how the Koch Brothers have also caused controversy at other universities along the east coast. As a researcher I plan to look into the different places the Koch Brother’s money goes into compared to George Mason, and look more into the court case, which as of today is more public and more deep into Mason’s donor history.