Citizen journalism is the term used to describe individuals who report information either on a blog or podcast through the form of pictures, texts, videos and audio. In class, we talked about if citizen journalism can be classified as journalism. Personally, I think citizen journalism is journalism. When I think of journalism, a news reporter or radio talk show host come to mind. When I think of a citizen journalist, an avid blogger or tweeter comes to mind. Their goals are the same, to get information out to the public. However, there are some differences between the two. Journalists get paid to broadcast information. However, citizens report information for free.
Citizen journalism allows the public to communicate with one another. It is a two way conversation where the topics at hand can be discussed. Often times when you read a newspaper or listen to the news on the television, you do not have the opportunity to share your opinion with the world. You are strictly receiving the information.
I personally love following blogs or other forms of citizen journalism. It intrigues me to hear what others have to say. Often times I may not agree with their opinion, but it allows me to think about the topic at hand in a different way. Television and newspapers do not allow you this same opportunity. I feel that citizen journalism allows you to be more active, more involved, and more aware of what is going on in the world and how others feel about the issue being discussed. For example, if you are interested in one specific idea, there a place on the internet where you can share your ideas and hear from others about the same topic, such as war, medicine, restaurants, travel, etc.
Many people debate over whether citizen journalism is classified as journalism. I believe citizen journalism falls under the broader category of journalism. Within the main idea and concept of journalism, there can be many subgroups that make up journalism. I like to compare it to medicine. The overall categories are doctors and nurses, however within each are subgroups. Surgeons, Pediatricians, OBGYN, Dermatologist, etc. are all different kinds of doctors. You have the option to be a nurse that works with kids, cancer patients, mentally disabled people, the elderly, etc. My point is that within every profession, there are many subgroups that make up the main category. Citizen journalism is journalism.
Citizen journalism is also great because it is instantaneous. When I open my phone, I check Twitter before the news, and often times gain information and news from this source. My phone is always on me so I can constantly check for updates, whereas I do not get around to a television or newspaper at the same convenience. I am a strong supporter of citizen journalism myself and believe it has helped make the world a better, more efficient place.