Caterin L. Villar
November 27, 2011
Is Assuming the Role of Citizen Journalist worth the Risk?
Amateur journalism is becoming more and more popular everyday with the advancement of technology. Newspapers across America have become so decimated by staff cutbacks that citizen journalists are stepping in to fill the gap in covering the news. Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube are only some of the free websites where users are connected with others and can share in an instant what is happening in their side of the world. When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another, that’s citizen journalism (Rosen). Yulianti’s article states
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Viewers will have a higher interest in news broadcasted by a citizen journalist. The audience that watches the local news of television is bored with the monotony. All the stations show the same story and same clips. Citizen journalists have access to places and people that regular news broadcasters may not. This gives the viewer more information to base their opinion on. Atkins states, "With smaller staffs chasing fewer stories, citizen journalists could help local papers keep a broader mix of stories and community reporting in front of readers," says Thom Clark, president of the Community Media Workshop in Chicago. "Citizen journalists can also show editors or remaining beat reporters where there is keen community interest about certain issues and institutions that could heighten reader interest." Citizen journalists act as another check and balance to the mainstream press. The more pictures and videos that different people take of the same event, the more the events join the audience. “Such photos may aid investigators”(Rottenburg and Wincell 268). Audiences can be sure that when they read or watch something posted by a citizen journalist, they are getting raw material that is showing what one person is experiencing and living. It is a person’s reality, not the view or the side that the mainstream press wants to take on an issue.
In conclusion, assuming the role of citizen journalist is worth the risk. Atkins states, “In a survey of 937 scientists