In this section we consider mass media which is not necessarily controlled by corporate media interests. Community radio is an example of alternate media not usually controlled by corporate or national public broadcaster interests. (Although radio spectrum management typically places restrictions on power outputs of the FM transmitters to be able to operate legally as well as additional requirements, for example, restrictions on the air time for sponsorship messages.) With the advent of the internet and social media, we have witnessed growth in citizen journalism which has also had an impact on professional journalism.
- Citizen journalism
- The idea behind citizen journalism is that people without professional journalism training can use the tools of modern technology and the global distribution of the Internet to create, augment or fact-check media on their own.
The impact of citizen journalism on professional journalism
Paul Lewis, a professional journalist is the west coast bureau chief and previously special project editor in London for the Guardian. This case study explores the interface between professional and citizen journalism surrounding the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests in central London on 1 April 2009.
Watch the first 8.30 minutes of the following presentation by Paul Lewis at TEDx Thessaloniki.
- Pearse, D., & Weaver, M. (2013, August 5). Death of Ian Tomlinson – timeline. The Guardian.
- Lewis, P., & Walker, P. (2009, April 9). New G20 video compounds doubts over police account of Ian Tomlinson’s death. The Guardian.
- Beaumont, C. (2009, January 16). New York plane crash: Twitter breaks the news, again.
- Lindner, Andrew M. 2016. “Editorial Gatekeeping in Citizen Journalism.” New Media & Society. Pre-print version.
Examples of citizen journalism sites
(Determine who owns and controls the site)
- Read: Meraz, S. (2009). Is There an Elite Hold? Traditional Media to Social Media Agenda Setting Influence in Blog Networks. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14(3), 682–707.
Consider the following questions:
- In a digital world, who has the power in setting the news agenda?
- Should individuals without professional training in journalism be able to contribute to investigative journalism?
- What are advantages and disadvantages of corporate sponsorship or hosting of “citizen” journalism sites?
- Should content posted on citizen journal sites be moderated before posting?
- What are the implications of citizen journalism for the general population?
- What is the implications for citizen journalism regarding verification of facts and protection for online hoaxes?
Spot poll - Citizen journalism
- Dictionary.com. Citizen journalism.