Journalism, Social Media & the Citizen

The work produced by journalists has, for the longest time, been shown and propagated through several traditional mediums such as television, radio and newspapers. In recent years, the birth and continuous development of the Internet provided another avenue for journalism to flourish. One such development that has captured the world by storm is social media.

The idea behind social media and its relevant networks is to bring people closer and in doing so, allowing for shared personal information and experiences. This can manifest in many forms, from a simple status update on Facebook or a tweet on Twitter, to mass sharing of photographs and videos on Tumblr and Youtube respectively. News organisations and journalists have also taken to social media to publish news and garner attention from users.

Through social media, citizens have somewhat become journalists themselves. Measures (2013) mentions that “pretty much everyone now has the means to report what is going on in the world around them” and that “consequently citizen journalists – ordinary people doing the job of reporters – are everywhere”. The ability to instantly share an image or video to a variety of social network platforms has enabled the citizen to contribute to news reporting. Of course, citizen journalists and actual journalists are divided by issues such as legitimacy and biased news reporting. But this has not hindered citizens from contributing to the act of journalism.

Receptivity itself has been altered with the introduction of journalism in social media. Tomer (2013) states that “as the world become increasingly smaller, with communication technology that allows us to connect with anyone in the world, citizens can learn and process information as it happens from a variety of sources”. News organisations have been removed from their pedestal as the sole source of news and placed amongst social media networks that at times, could be quicker in providing up-to-date news. The recipient now has options as to which piece of news to read, allowing for a fuller picture to be revealed.

(330 words)

References

Measures, C. (2013). The Rise of Citizen Journalism  Retrieved 16 May 2013, from http://socialmediatoday.com/chris-measures/1430031/rise-citizen-journalism

Tomer, C. (2013). Social Media And How It’s Changing Journalism  Retrieved 16 May 2013, from http://techli.com/2013/04/social-media-and-how-its-changing-journalism/

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