Journalism 2.0

What we consider as journalism is currently in a state of convergence. The history of journalism is constantly adapting and shaping to new communication technologies. However, in the past few years an internet phenomena has occurred where everyday citizens are reporting their own news. This is addressed by Brian Conley in the Ted Talk below:

As Conley states, the emergence of the internet and Web 2.0 worldwide has essentially “leveled the playing field” (Conley 2013). Now sites such as Twitter and YouTube offer citizen journalists a platform to aggregate, participate and publish. With such sites, now all a citizen needs to become a journalist is a story and a camera.

But how do citizen journalists differentiate with regular, plain-clothed journalists? There are many concerns regarding citizen journalism, the main issue being credibility. As Morley Safer stated, “I would trust citizen journalism as much as I would trust citizen surgery,” (Krinsky 2009). Issues regarding credibility isn’t new to the public, considering how the News of the World Phone Hacking Scandal impacted on Murdoch media. Rather, the arguments regarding credibility, publishing and immediacy are all blurring as citizen journalism and traditional journalism are shaped and interchanged. As addressed in the Economist, citizen journalists, and in particular foreign correspondents, are pairing up with news branches by selling or providing their stories, photographs and videos (2013).  One such example is the Boston Globe during the Boston bombings of April last year. The Boston Globe used tweets and photographs from local tweeters to report on the event as it happened.

Throughout the day, citizens would communicate with reporters of the Globe through twitter to report current news. This level of immediacy is historically unheard of. Due to the efforts of the Boston globe and citizen journalists, hundreds of thousands of people were provided updates live from the scene (Twitter Media 2014).

So where does this leave the future of journalism? Although citizen journalism may be a groundbreaking source for information, many people are still looking towards news corporations for their source of news. Therefore, if the two work together (as many currently are), our news will not only be even more immediate, but perhaps more authentic too.

Sources:

Conley, B 2012, Citizen Journalism is Reshaping the World: Brian Conley at TEDxMidAtlantic, Tedx Talks, 17 December, viewed 20 September 2014, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY-l9UQpf0Y&gt;.

Economist 2013, ‘Foreign Correspondents; Citizen Journalism’, The Economist, vol. 407, no. 8838, p. 62.

Krinsky, A 2009, ‘Morley Safer: “I Would Trust Citizen Journalism As Much As I Would Trust Citizen Surgery’, TV Newser, 21 May, viewed 20 September 2014, <http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/morley-safer-i-would-trust-citizen-journalism-as-much-as-i-would-trust-citizen-surgery_b28441&gt;.

Twitter Media, 2014, ‘The Boston Globe uses Twitter during a crisis’, Twitter Media, viewed 21 September, <https://media.twitter.com/success/bostonglobe-uses-twitter-to-source-news-and-keep-the-public-informed-during-the-boston&gt;.

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12 thoughts on “Journalism 2.0

  1. I too am fascinated by the concept of citizen journalism. I agree with the point you made regarding credibility and this can also be extended to accountability. It is difficult to hold a citizen journalist accountable especially when many are anonymous. I definitely see a blurring between traditional journalists and so-called citizen journalists. A great example of this is the guy in Pakistan who inadvertently tweeted about the operation to capture Osama Bin Laden his tweets were then picked up by most major news outlets (http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2011/05/02/man-inadvertently-live-tweets-osama-bin-laden-raid/). An example of a scenario where live tweeting or citizen journalism had disastrous consequences would have added to your blog post. But overall a great post that is very well written.

  2. Citizen journalism seems raw and fresh as far as getting the news or current affairs. However, citizen journalism can essentially anyone making some information misleading or false. For example, one Twitter user made false claims that the New York Stock Exchange was under three feet of water. People believed this because there wasn’t any viable news sources in the damaged and unsafe area from the hurricane. One irresponsible person cause real damage to the US economy on the basis of false statements.

  3. I like this post because you’ve used a wide range of different sources to support your writing on the topic, I especially like the Krinsky’s ‘citizen surgery’ quote! I think you have addressed citizen journalism, its pros and cons, and its implications on news and journalism really well; your writing is clear, concise and easy to read. Your conclusion is good but we do need to consider the news companies that are already considered not so authentic. Take FOX news for example, with their often biased and ignorant approaches to news stories, one can only wonder what sort of citizen journalists they would seek out to support their stories and viewpoints, which would only make their stories more ‘authentic’ and credible to those who consider FOX their main news source or go-to for updates. But overall I understand what you are saying and I agree working together will ultimately be for the good of journalism. The only thing I could pick on is to watch out for is spelling and properly italicising titles. Great post!

  4. Great use of a wide range of sources!
    You make an interesting point about the blurring and interconnectedness of traditional and citizen journalism. Which I think surmises much of the current news outlets and their new found interest in digital reporting. Whilst you do acknowledge the issue of credibility in citizen journalism you seem to gloss over the power that negative and misleading tweets or anonymous tips can be to the overall reporting, there are many examples of citizen information which lead to incorrect news stories. Such as what happened with the coverage of the Boston Bombings and the misinformation surrounding the suspects (more info here- http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/04/-bostonbombing-the-anatomy-of-a-misinformation-disaster/275155/)

  5. A very nice summary of the problems of an equal playing field. I feel as if the best collaboration I have seen is on Al Jazeera, where rather than claim outright that everything they report in collaboration with citizen journalism is not entirely infallible. They state that the information used by citizen journalists on the ground is in line with what knowledge they have already established. I feel as if situations such as these are the best conditions for collaboration between citizen’s and traditional outlets, a room for error and an opportunity for discussion to ensure that there is as little bias prevalent in reporting as is possible.

  6. A detailed explanation on citizen journalism and how it has becoming such an emerging, powerful presence in society today. Great use of the Morley Safer quote to add humour into your post, and an overall great amount of references used. It really does help and reflects the quality of your post.

    The last paragraph got me thinking, do you know of any examples of citizen journalists and news corporations teaming up? Some research into that would be very interesting, and even if there isn’t anything on it, it’s best to add that into your post instead of leaving the thought open. Just a thought. Great work.

  7. I found this post illuminating mostly what you wrote about foreign correspondents working with news branches, and how they have agreements set in place for information and photos. I feel as though this negates the original purpose of the Internet (stated by some cyberlibertarians; for free information distribution and sharing with others in the field). Your post also made me wonder what would come from the constant meld of journalism and citizen journalism, mainly which one of their rules or regulation (or citizen journalisms lack of) would win out overtime.

  8. Entertaining post, the use of relevant examples from current events really does engross the view. I think you speak to your target audience very well in style and language, very appropriate. Although I find your conclusion very brief and basic, I would like to see you develop that more. Overall great post with plenty of great sources used.

  9. I like the use of the Safer quote! It shows an extreme view of citizen journalists but I love how cut throat it is, no matter my view on the situation. The Boston bombings was a key event in citizen journalism where the information that was received and distributed was mainly from people using their mobiles taking photos and videos of the horror that was caused. Your conclusion is completely spot on, what do we do about the lack of credibility? But what would we do without live updates from citizens that keep us informed about events/crisis? Its a tough discussion! Here is a good article about the bombings. You should also read the comments. http://www.pbs.org/idealab/2013/05/can-citizen-journalism-move-beyond-crisis-reporting127/

  10. Hey, interesting post. I felt you covered the topic very well and included good examples as well as Morley Safer quote to add humour into this week topic. Great analysis of content about the blurring and interconnect of traditional and citizen journalism. Undeniable, citizen journalism is a powerful tool in navigating through the world today but there are the issues such as reliability and credibility that comes with having no filter.

  11. Great use of examples, particularly the Brian Conley video. You’ve covered the content well and highlighted an important examples; the Boston Bombings and the credibility of citizen journalists. Citizen journalists do have the ability to shape the news cycle and create professional content, however they are susceptible to inaccuracies and economically limited compared with major news organisations. As Bruns identifies, citizen and professional journalists can co-exist and create high quality content. Great post.

  12. As someone who is very, very hesitant about citizen journalism and it’s credibility, I enjoy seeing traditional media outlets work with citizen journalism to cover an event. Many webpages will have a feed that links straight to Twitter and shows the top tweets about an issue. This gives us the best of both worlds, with the credibility of a proper publication, coupled with the candidness of citizen journalism.

    This also (unfortunately for me, as it is a job I would love to do) helps their bottom line, as publications have less reason to employ photojournalists and on scene reporters, because they can get the same photos and information for free from Twitter and Facebook.

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