Citizen Journalism : The Savior Of Online News Essay

Citizen Journalism : The Savior Of Online News Essay

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Citizen Journalism has been hailed as the savior of online news, bringing stories to the attention of the public sphere, that other wise wouldn’t, and being free of all the bias and influence that hinders mainstream news, although some scholars have argued that isn’t the full story and citizen journalism is playing a similar role to the mainstream in discouraging a healthy public sphere (Bruns, 2011). Citizen journalism has been growing more and more popular as social networking and the Intent become more prevalent in everyday life, and has most certainly aided in promoting a better public sphere through online news, as opposed to if online news was, solely controlled by the mainstream media (Kranzberg, 1985). Citizen journalism utilises a horizontal method of production, as opposed to a vertical hierarchy used by the mainstream, which gives the actual journalist a lot more power over what is published (Boeder, 2005). This allows for bias and influence to be minimized in the production of news, meaning the information entering the public sphere is likely to, at the very least, be less bias then what the mainstream media produce, which is crucial if the public sphere is to have a healthy, accurate debate on the issues (Allan, 2006). Citizen journalism has also been applauded for representing a wider range of views and opinions from a greater variety of people, which has potentially given minorities and equal voice in the public sphere (Lasch, 1987). Blogging has been used as an example of this as almost anyone can sign up to a range of free blogging and sites and start reporting what they see as news; however this assumption has come under scrutiny from a range of academics (Habermas, 1991). Blogging is still mainly restricted to p...


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...on, changed the way news was disseminated throughout the public sphere, the public sphere was always able to evolve and adapt to these new technologies to suit the needs of its citizens (Jones, 2012). Papacharissi quotes two prominent researchers from the 1980’s, Kranzberg and Lasch, who analyzed the role that technology has played in news in the past and the role it will play in the future, stating, “Technology is neither good nor bad, nor is it neutral” (Kranzberg, 1985, p. 50) and “Technology is a mirror of society, not a ‘neutral’ force that ‘can be used for good or evil’” (Lasch, 1987, p. 295) retrospectively. Online news encourages a healthy public sphere to the degree that citizens want it to, as did past technologies, and the degree to which it encourages a healthy public sphere will depend upon the citizens at the time and how online news evolves with them.

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