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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