What do you get when you put an increasing prevalence of mobile camera phones together with access to the internet during a time of crisis? Citizen journalism.
Not to be confused with community or civic journalism which are practiced by ‘professionals,’ citizen journalism is the collecting, reporting and disseminating of news by the public (Mashable Australia).
There are many platforms to publicly journalise news as it happens, social media platforms being the most popular. CNN actually launched a site called iReport to co-opt citizen journalism. But one issue that comes to mind with this user generated content is reliability. If anyone can post anything, where’s the credibility?
Take the Steve Jobs heart attack rumour for example. In 2008 someone posted on CNN’s iReport page that Steve Jobs had had a heart attack, which then spread via other social media sites, turning out to be nothing more than a rumour. So can we really trust ‘citizen journalists’? Was the creation of iReport a good idea or do the public now hold too much power over CNN?
Citizen Journalism, n.d, Mashable Australia, viewed 5 May 2016 < http://mashable.com/category/citizen-journalism/>
Schnofeld, E 2008, ‘Citizen “Journalist” Hits Apple Stock with Falce (Steve Jobs) Heart Attack Rumour,’ Tech Crunch, viewed 5 May 2016 <http://techcrunch.com/2008/10/03/citizen-journalist-hits-apple-stock-with-false-steve-jobs-heart-attack-rumor/>