What’s the Potential for Citizen Journalism in Today’s Multi-Platform Communication Environment?

Over the last decade, the world of traditional journalism has been reshaped by many things.

The introduction of new technologies via smartphones, tablets and social media platforms such as Twitter are presenting new ways for journalists to present stories to the public.

However in saying this, it is through these new tools of communication that citizen journalists have emerged- stories being structured and presented by the public, to the public.

Citizen journalism holds great potential for the future of journalism, despite being criticised by some. In a world where most of us are in the possession of a smart phone, we all have the opportunity to be citizen journalists, some even without the proper training that other journalist graduates have.

The credibility and integrity of these journalists can become a problem, as the public struggles to trust news reporters that they do not know. Although this creates an issue of a trust, there are still many positives for citizen journalists. It creates opportunities for citizens to report live from breaking news events- events that the news may not yet be aware of.

Twitter and its tie-in service Periscope are highly influential platforms for citizen journalists. Content often posted by citizen journalists online in the wake of natural disasters and shooting sprees then go noticed by other news outlets and consequently, embedded into their own stories.

Citizen journalism is ultimately changing the way that the public engage with breaking news events. The potential is limitless as new applications surface each day that assist is this new phenomenon of news reporting.

A couple examples of citizen journalism can be seen below.


– C

Social media and citizen journalism in the wake of the Boston bombings

Citizen journalism following tornado disaster in Oklahoma