Tag Archives: citizen journalist

Individual control to crowd-sourcing – Utilizing Twitter


“The weather reports keep announcing that the sky is falling, but here we are — millions of us — sitting around trying to invent new ways to talk to one another ” – Johnson 2009

Before the internet the only way to get news was through analog communication – radios, television and newspapers. The information being broadcasted and published would see these one-way information networks as a restraint for people who wanted to get news. People did not have any control for when they wanted to hear/watch the news, television and radio set specific times of day for when the news would be read and newspapers were no better being printed each day – the news people were given would not be relevant for long or people would have to wait days for a story that people wanted to find out. There was also the restriction about what news would be relevant or worthy to an audience – the people that controlled the news industry would control what news would be available to its audience.

Fast track to 2013 with the use of social media – the news people receive is instant – a 24 hour news cycle, not constrained by time, anyone can post news or information, not constrained by the tyrants of news industries. Though with all of this information comes a struggle for what information is needed, what pieces of information are factual and reliable, these changes caused an issue about what real journalism is, is social media destroying traditional journalism? Traditional journalism is still a viable career and a part of today – social media, Twitter for example is a source of information that journalists can use to help aggregate information and get stories.

The question around Twitter killing traditional Journalism has been proven incorrect Twitter and journalism and more than ever intertwined as a place for news and journalists. Twitter has become a place where new news stories appear from anywhere, the credibility of these stories is questionable and thus needs to be verified and proven factual. This verification can be proven by utilizing the aspects of Twitter – checking the tweet for hash-tags, to see if the potential story is being talked about by other people – by a having an aggregation of tweets with the same hash-tag. There could be photo/video evidence that is evident on the incident. Utilizing this information and knowing what can be a true story journalists are able to use Twitter as a source for gathering information from on-the-ground citizen-journalists that work together to get instant real-time information and organize methods in ways to help people those that are involved in disasters and to prevent people from becoming potential victims.


Johnson, S. (2009). How Twitter Will Change The Way We Live.

“Got any news for me, I’m running a little low?”


What is a citizen journalist? Oxford Dictionary defines ‘citizen journalist’ as “a non-professional journalist, typically working outside traditional media channels”.

To deal with the mass change of technology that we have today and the consistent up-to-date 24/7 news stories that are being published there is an opening for anyone to report about news and be a citizen journalist.

To be a citizen journalist is to do nothing more than report by filming or making a comment on an event that is happening and post it to, usually a social networking site. There is always the clash that revolves around old media (corporate) vs. new media, explained (briefly) by the following video:

The end part of the above clip when both mediums say “Got any news for me, I’m running a little low?” highlights the difference in monologic and dialogic collective intelligence used to gather news and present it. The old style newspaper symbolises the structured, professional journalists and the young sounding laptop represents amateur, unprofessional, collective information from  “bloggers”.

The change from old to new has arrived and it is in the form of collective intelligence both intentionally such as the website Alltop which deals with an individual, collectively gathering information of their interests around the internet to then repost to a single spot or view popular links and be presented by a page which gathers information from citizen journalists and shows the recent information talked about. Then there is the unintentional act of citizen journalism which is the simple recording or messaging of an event that is happening and then placed on the internet and used to recollect the events of what happened and the experiences involved. Pretty much a step-by-step look at global issues that are not edited or modified – presented by the following clip:

There will always be a place for citizen journalism because there will always be events taking place that need to be reported on and first-hand experience needed. There are stories that need to be told, and be told without modification or change by corporate agenda.