Citizen Journalism is one of the most important revolutions in media since the invention of the printing press in the 1440’s. It is also one of the most hotly contested phenomena within politics, economics, industry and of course, journalism.
Citizen Journalism is ‘The act of citizens playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, an analyzing and disseminating news and information’. With the added factor of technological advances and increased global communication, many are using the medium of the World Wide Web to get their message heard.
Citizen journalists and amateur producers can serves as an unbiased and more democratic source of news in contrast to the main stream media.
There is much evidence that the main stream media is beginning to change focus to accommodate the digital revolution. Changes have even been seen in the White House, where bloggers are now being admitted to conferences and treated as the regular main stream media journalists.
As the CEO of Reuters news and information told a conference on “we Media” in London in May 2006, none of Reuters’ 3,300 reporters and stringers were on the beaches struck by the south east Asian tsunami two years ago. Instead for 24 hours Reuters relied on photos and videos captured by tourists and bystanders. “In the end,” he said, ‘you have to be open to both amateur and professional to tell the story completely. There is no monopoly on being at the right place at the right time.”
Every day news organizations now receive emails from citizens with information to add to the conversation about what has been reported and raising new questions, suggesting new context.
Specialized websites like the project for excellence in journalism; The Center for Public Integrity; the Pew Research center; Google and Yahoo receive similar emails.
Each day the managers of each of these and...