With the rise of technology and smart phones, citizen journalism is a hot topic in journalism and communications today. It is something I have learned about in my classes in the States and now here in Barcelona. When it comes to the topic of citizen journalism, many people question if it is really journalism at all.
I would definitely say I think that citizen journalism counts as journalism. When we have cameras so available on our phones, it is us, the regular everyday people, who are going to catch the news in action. News happens in an instant and there’s no time to wait around for a professional journalist to get to the scene. If we can catch a moment in history on our iPhone, then we absolutely should. Those pictures show what really happened in the moment.
There are many examples when citizen journalists made a huge impact on a current event. For example, in June 2009, the Iranian government blocked foreign and domestic news coverage within Iran to prevent the governmental horrors from being exposed to the world. When an innocent man witnessing protests was shot and killed, the images were captured on a smart phone and posted to Facebook. Without this citizen journalist, no body would be able to see the truth about what was happening.
I think journalists feel threatened by the fact that citizen journalism is taking over. The fact of the matter is that this is the direction the field of journalism is heading and there is no stopping it. Citizen journalism is an incredible phenomenon that is making the field of journalism stronger. When we can find information instantaneously on Twitter and Facebook, we become a more informed world. And that is all thanks to citizen journalists.