The power of citizen journalism is certainly at a turning point in modern news broadcasting. It can also be seen as an integral part of society today due to our immediate demand for online content and participatory culture. Citizen journalism has enabled new entry points, increasing our access to content and shifted our views on the issues and content raised in news broadcasts today.
In recent news stories it has become quite evident that citizen journalism is paramount and widely integrated into modern news broadcasts. Issues and events such as Kony 2012 and the recent video footage of Creamfields, indicates that if it weren’t for our participatory culture and emerging technologies, the news outlets would not be able to provide digital evidence for their stories.
Kony 2012 is an excellent example of how citizen journalists have the power to control the content shown on major news broadcasts stations, as noted earlier. It implies that a small, unknown story can accumulate significance and become a major news headline over night.
Another factor to consider is that convergent technologies are assisting news outlets in gaining media stories and information from citizen journalists, off social networking sites. The speed of uploading further assists in getting news stories out more quickly, which an integral part of competitive journalism. This in particular can be seen in the horrific events of the Japanese tsunami and earthquake, where Twitter was the only form of communication, from which news station were able to obtain information on the events within seconds.
This being said we need to focus on the credibility and legitimacy of information at hand, as it can be biased and include an element of untruthfulness in it, due to lack of moderation and gatekeeping. This article on Science Daily states, “Worryingly, they also found numerous unreliable Retweets… where users …repeated inaccurate information”.