While citizen journalism is welcomed by many, it is also considered a hindrance by others. This type of journalism is regarded as uncensored and raw that is portrayed to the public with people other than professional journalists. Some people even believe that it has a future hand in hand with professional journalism. No matter the points pushed by proponents and opponents, it is important to assess the advantages and disadvantages of citizen journalism to have an idea of how it will develop in the future.
List of Advantages of Citizen Journalism
1. It addresses the gaps in mainstream media.
The idea behind this form of journalism is that people without professional training are able to use modern technology tools and the internet to fact-check, augment or create media. This entails that anyone who has access to the web can start a blog or can report some events across the digital world. This is significant in a way that it addresses the gaps within mainstream media.
2. It empowers local communities.
Citizen journalism enables individuals, who are previously excluded from essential information, to increasingly participate in disseminating information to advance their well-being. This journalistic innovation is said to help improve local economies, sharing substantial information to remote corners of the globe. With it, many ordinary people are now able to play a part in telling stories, including their own, that are usually understated by mainstream media.
List of Disadvantages of Citizen Journalism
1. It poses difficulties to the audience about what to believe.
One big problem with this type of journalism is that it will be difficult for people to decide what to believe, unlike traditional journalism, where it is safe to assume the information disseminated is factual. This means that citizen media should be checked and re-checked for accuracy to produce news that is suitable to print. As you can see, anyone these days can record and write anything and then present it as fact, so it is important to remember that we are dealing with humans here, and it is our nature to edit information to our own likeness, which can make unofficial news unreliable.
2. It has limited audience in some cases.
By publishing their work on social media, citizen journalists will have limited audience, such as only to their friends. And while blogging will make their audience a bit greater, it would never be as widespread as international broadcast on radio or television. Basically, citizen journalism just do not have an audience that is large enough to make a real change across the world.
Whether you like it or not, the availability of modern technology and the internet means that citizen journalism is here to stay. Nevertheless, it is seen by many people to help journalism in general for the better, though it difficult to ignore that it is also seen a threat to the media and its future. With the advantages and disadvantages presented above, do you think this form of journalism is good for society as a whole, or not?
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.