by Contributor

(Jul. 23, 2019) — With the increasing participation in social media usage, a lot of awareness is being created to have people become more involved in the news coverage process. Citizen Journalism or Participatory journalism, as it is called in some parts, is the process whereby public civilians are involved actively in the process of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating news.

One can hardly mention a topic or subject which has not yet been covered by journalists. In online and offline resources, it is feasible to read the information and reports on everything from a hairdryer to pros and cons of gambling at Casinority. Thanks to the availability of diverse surveys like an independent PlayAmo review, a user is provided with an unbiased opinion and gets the chance to use only trustworthy resources.

It is important not to mistake Citizen Journalism for Civic journalism or Community journalism. While Citizen news coverage can be practiced by anyone, Community or Civic journalism is practiced by professionals. Another interesting angle to it is collaborative news coverage which involves both professional and non-professional journalists coming together.

There is increasing participation in Citizen journalism across the world. This increasing participation is now being considered a threat to professional news coverage in some circles. The reason for this is not far-fetched. With more people participating in the process of compiling and disseminating news, professional journalists may soon become irrelevant. However, a closer look actually reveals that both Citizen and Professional journalism are more complementary than antagonistic.

The Place of the Social Media in Citizen Journalism

Stating that social media has exponentially influenced news coverage might not be far from the truth. More especially Citizen Journalism. More people now post news updates through their social media handles, with some even going as far as creating blogs and dedicated social media pages to achieve this. Considering the fact that publishing information on the internet costs less comparatively, this makes the process even more convenient for users.

Keeping in mind that the current digital trends would continue to evolve, it is safe to assume that the growing trend of breaking news through social media would not be reducing anytime soon. As it stands, most breaking news often comes from social media before traditional media.

On most occasions, Journalists don’t get to decide what the biggest stories are. Society decides which stories trend. In most cases, the stories that go viral come from the civilians themselves. With social media, Citizen news coverage has the advantage of getting important information rapidly spread. However, despite its advantages, citizen Journalism is not without its downsides;

  • The higher tendency of spreading falsehood

With Citizen Journalism, it’s easy to spread false or unverified reports. Due to the swiftness and wide reach of Citizen news coverage, it is very easy to spread false or unverified reports. Although this is not always consequential, it can have severe consequences in some circumstances. Some news can lead to the spread of panic across regions which can lead to people taking a drastic measure. For instance, a bomb scare can lead to people running helter-skelter in panic. And in patients with certain medical conditions, this can even have more severe consequences.

  • Low quality of reports

Also, due to the fact that most Citizens do not have the required training in journalism, sometimes the quality of reports put out can be very low. This can lead to cases of ambiguity or unclear messages which could ultimately lead to misinformation.

Citizen journalism, particularly using social media, can be viewed as news coverage in the raw form. It can serve as a starting point for professional journalists, serving as a means to tip professional journalists on leads they can follow. A number of news agencies have already begun to incorporate a civilian reporting platform, especially on their websites and mobile apps. This way, Citizens can send in reports to the agency for follow-up and get acknowledged. This leads to some form of collaborative news coverage.



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