Here’s Britney Spears, politely informing every one of their roles as citizen journalists (really, not really). Okay, even though she isn’t actually saying that, if she was, she’d be right.
The rise of technology, and social media at that, means we are constantly remaining connected. TO our phones, to each other, to what is happening around us. We are in a constant state of both consuming, but also producing. The emerging of this media threatens the journalism profession and more importantly, the traditional way of delivering news to the public. Journalism is a profession in crisis (so glad I chose to major in it…).
See, traditional news, which here I will refer to as ‘legacy media’, has almost every element of itself being endangered. Think of newspapers, the news was packaged for us, we has to buy this “package” in order to consume said news (so we trust this one and only news source), and then advertisers are more or less required to buy into the advertising space which was exclusive and limited to newspapers. If you compare every part of this chain of events, the rise of modern-day media and citizen journalism is the causation of the destruction of legacy media. Personally, I feel they cannot concurrently thrive to their full potential; one of them must give way.
The current best way to meet supply and demand, is through the internet. A vast amount of the world’s population is exposed to and interacts with the internet. Key word here; interacts.
See, that’s what threatens the legitimacy of what we consume today. With everyone being able to add their 2 cents into every occurrence, where is the filter? How can we possibly begin to determine what is valid, what is opinion, what is even real? Okay for what is real, I’ll address that in a later post.
But as for citizen journalism, i.e. public interaction, it is not the legitimacy of the actual news that is being threatened, but instead, how this news is then presented, and furthermore how this news is re-presented as it passes through each individual. Individuals may film, comment, photograph, their own interpretation of a situation and the internet’s ability to spread this virally means stories are published and shared by literally ANYONE. Not that this is wrong, but in saying that, the whole point is to leave the journalism up to the journalists right?
I’m totally all for news and stories coming from the raw source, but this lacks professionalism, this lacks a whole other side of the story too, in most cases, this may usually lack some fact. I mean, imagine if we didn’t check childcare workers. Literally anyone would just mind our kids; how unrealistic and preposterous is that idea! Yet, with citizen journalism, we’re consuming anything we see as news, from literally anyone.
So really, I don’t know my stance on this phenomenon in the end. I do value real journalism (possibly because it’ll be my career and I need a job at some point) but in saying that, I do like being able to hear the story from the source, unpolished. I like that we can all comment in real-time, and contribute to what we deem fit. But please hold sacred real, professional journalism; and keep my industry alive.