THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF CITIZEN JOURNALISM

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“That’s where citizen journalism has the upper hand, as it is not influenced by politics or advertisers.” At Folks there is no influence or judgement. We want you to speak about your experiences in your community.

Citizen Journalism  ( source: Morocco World News )

Citizen Journalism

Morocco World News

There is always two sides to every story, and citizen journalism is no different.

Over the past decade academics, journalists and the public have discussed the impact of citizen journalism on the media world, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of citizen journalists reporting on national and local news.

Citizen Journalism – Good or bad ( source: Word Press )

Citizen Journalism – Good or bad

Word Press

ADVANTAGES

The first advantage of citizen journalism is that it empowers local communities, as it helps get local citizens more involved in the events affecting their lives. It also brings individuals together to make a positive change in their community. For example back in 2009 the village of Crosby Ravensworth, Cumbria united together to support a blog that was created to help Butcher’s Arms the only pub in the village reopen after it was forced to close due to the owners illness. The blog was a success and in August 2011 the pub reopened for business with 300 local residents now the joint owners. Citizen journalism not provides local communities with a voice to tell their stories, it also provides the world with a different perspective.

Which leads us to the next advantage; citizen journalism makes it possible to cover the majority of events happening in the world, as reporters cannot know about all the newsworthy events that are occurring. This is where citizen journalists can help; they can report on the events that the traditional journalists may miss. Natural disasters or freak accidents are good examples of when its an advantage to have citizen journalists reporting as they are right there when it happens.

The last main advantage of citizen journalism is that the news can be told without being swayed by political views or other agendas. As traditional media is usually controlled by board of directors and advertisers. Therefore it is usually near impossible to get an unbiased view on the news from mainstream media. That’s where citizen journalism has the upper hand, as it is not influenced by politics or advertisers.

DISADVANTAGES

Despite not being swayed by politics or a board of directors, citizen journalists can be swayed by their own opinions. Which brings us to the first disadvantage of citizen journalism. Since citizen journalists are both the writer and editor of their stories, their telling of the events may be influenced by their feelings and opinions.

The next disadvantage of citizen journalism is that their is no formal training involved, which can lead to factual inaccuracies and unethical behaviour. A clear example of this is a when twitter user back in 2012 posted misinformation about the situation surrounding Hurricane Sandy. The twitter user known as ComfortablySmug already had a following of 6000 people, therefore when he posted the false information it garnered quite a bit of attention from the public and media channels, which lead to panic and chaos on the East Coast. This lead to people suggesting that citizen journalists undergo some sort of ethics training.

To end this discussion here’s a quote by Paul Lewis on citizen journalism.

“Citizen Journalism for the journalist means accepting that you can’t know everything and allowing other people through technology be your eyes and ears and for the public it means being co-producers of the news.”

What are your views on citizen journalism. Comment down below whether you are for or against it.

source: wordpress.com

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