What’s the potential for citizen journalism in today’s multi-platform communications environment?


There is boundless potential and possibility for citizen journalism in today’s media sphere. With smartphones, youtube, blogs and social media, to name a few- the potential for amateur reporters to publish their stories is greater than ever before.

News outlets and particularly current affairs programs are gaining much benefit from citizen journalism- they are able to get access to a wider scope of material for stories while cutting the corners of actually producing the work themselves. As Kate Bulkley reports for The Guardian– In the digital era of communication, the value and authenticity between professional news stories and amateur videos filmed on a mobile phone is becoming harder to judge. Some journalists may find citizen reporting a threat to their profession.

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Citizen journalism has the potential to deliver stories from events and places that professional journalists may not be able to access, such as citizens in a war zone in Syria. The public can receive up-to the minute reporting from events such as political protests. The phenomenon is radicalising journalism because there is no filter as to what can be published on the Internet. Citizen journalism opens a door for raw and gritty stories as well as light ‘puff’ pieces- the possibilities really are endless.


The possibility for instant publication of events and stories may have its downfalls. Privacy can easily be breached and false information can very easily be spread into the public domain. Citizen journalism has the potential to cause harm to individuals as well as the potential to give the public greater access to current affairs.



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