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Citizen Journalism Definition
Citizen journalism is news reporting that is done by the people instead of professional journalists. This type of journalism can uncover facts not typically revealed by professional journalists because the public uses alternative sources to find information.
Citizen journalism can be delivered to the public via regular news outlets, online news outlets, social media, and video streaming sites such as CTIZNEWS app. Let’s look at the advantages of citizen journalism.
List of Advantages of Citizen Journalism
Being in the moment
Capturing a crisis or event at the moment it happens is a major advantage of citizen journalism. Some of the people whipped out their phones and captured the entire event. A citizen journalist can capture a crisis as it unfolds, unlike traditional journalism, which starts once a news station is notified of the event. By then, they’ve missed the actual event and are reporting on the evidence left behind.
It offers multiple vantage points
Citizen journalism began for many reasons, but a major one was to provide a more accurate account of a story, looking at the issue from every angle. When hundreds or even thousands of citizens participate in the collection and reporting of an event, it makes it easier for the true story to emerge (and harder for anybody to slant the story in their favor).
When the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, was attacked by a gunman, multiple survivors contributed to the story with personal essays and interviews that helped the media convey what really went on in that theater to the rest of the country. All those perspectives, while not always objective, allow for a more engaged version of journalism.
It empowers local communities.
Citizen journalism enables individuals, who are previously excluded from essential information, to increasingly participate in disseminating information to advance their well-being. This journalistic innovation is said to help improve local economies, sharing substantial information to remote corners of the globe. With it, many ordinary people are now able to play a part in telling stories, including their own, that are usually understated by mainstream media.
It addresses the gaps in mainstream media.
The idea behind this form of journalism is that people without professional training are able to use modern technology tools and the internet to fact-check, augment or create media. This entails that anyone who has access to the web or app can report some events across the digital world. This is significant in a way that it addresses the gaps within mainstream media.