Sunday, April 8, 2012

Citizen Journalism: A good thing or a bad thing?

With all of the blogs and social media websites that are popular in todays world, more and more people are able to express their opinions and share stories and events that happen in their everyday life. The definition of a journalist is no longer black and white. It is no longer just someone who works at a news station and has a professional camera crew. People are catching current events on video cameras on their smart phones, posting pictures and writing statuses on online blogs and social media sites. This creates a culture where people can become informed instantly without even turning on the TV to watch the news. For example, "Some of the first public accounts of the military operation that killed the terrorist leader, Osama Bin Laden, came in the form of tweets from Sohaib Athar, a 33-year-old IT consultant in Abbottabad, the city where bin Laden was found." To check out the full article about how the tweets emerged to be the first to report this incident check out the article click here. 

In my opinion, citizen journalism comes with pros and cons. It can be something positive because people have the opportunity to become more involved with today's society and world events where they can express themselves through multiple online outlets. It allows for different view points around the world and allows for people to catch news before it becomes big media, which can allow for raw footage to be captured before news stations even hear word of an event. A negative aspect that citizen journalism can bring is the spreading of rumors and misunderstanding of events. People who express their opinions about a certain event can mislead other readers' which can leave the specifics of an event blurry. News stations for the most part try to be objective in stating the specifics of an event where bloggers tend to give their opinions which are usually extreme. What do you think? Do you think the blurring definition of who journalists are is a good thing or a bad thing? 

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