The Impact of the Rise of Citizen Journalists for Mainstream Media

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Due to the development of science and technology, the world is experiencing an information revolution. With the arrival of information age, the traditional information producing strata changes and new media rise gradually. Citizen journalists can be regarded as a representative of new media. As the concept is relatively new, it is not yet completely defined. Generally speaking, citizen journalists refer to members of the public who are not trained or employed as professional journalists for a living to produce and circulate photos, videos, news and views (Stabe, 2006). In recent years, the rise of citizen journalists has an impact on mainstream media. Mainstream media, which sometimes are called elite media or agenda-setting media, can be defined as the media that are popular and available to the masses (Chomsky, 1997). They set the framework of information producing, involve TV, radio and newspapers. The impact mainly has three aspects: offering a large amount of information sources, breaking the monopoly of language rights and promoting the innovation of operation mode. This essay will explain the details of the impact of the rise of citizen journalists for mainstream media.

First of all, it is generally agreed that citizen journalists offer a great deal of information sources for mainstream media. Traditionally, mainstream media rely on professional journalists to get news or information through their observation, inquiry, analysis or investigation (I, Reporter, 2007). A lot of large media have employees all over the world to provide information sources. However, since many great events usually take place suddenly, it seems difficult for professional journalists to predict and gather information. In contrast, the most outstanding characteristic of citizen journalists is that they are ubiquitous, which means they can appear in the most unlikely places (Glocer, 2006). Moreover, as new information science and technology such as digital products, mobile phones...
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