Recent events such as the tsunami disaster (where blogs helped in covering the enormous size of the story), the war in Iraq (where blogs help to present both opinions of all parties involved), the Dan Rather's scandal, a CBS Evening News anchor who reported as authentic a series of forged documents about George W. Bush (where blogs were highly instrumental in exposing him) have all contributed to the growing popularity of citizen journalism. So, why is there a recent growth in popularity of citizen journalism? Is it because of the scandals that has eroded the credibility of traditional journalism or is out of touch with today's media landscape? And does any of it eventually mean the decline of traditional journalism?
Citizen journalism, We media, Participatory media, or Citizen media, as it is also called, is the act of citizens playing an active role in the collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating of news and information. This is essentially the act of extending the "press" to what was traditionally called the audeience. Citizen journalism is one of key importance especially because it provides independent, wide-ranging, and to some extent relevant information which created a democratic environment as far as information goes.
Traditional journalism, on the other hand, whose "Super Concepts" are truthful, unbiased, full and fair makes it a style of writing that presents only bare facts of the stories and events it covers. However, journalism has time and time again bared witness to many scandals one of the most widely known of which is the infamous article "Jimmy's world" by Janet Cooke, a journalist for the Washington Post, in which she wrote about the profile of a life of ...
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...rength of participatory media is the creation of "stand alone" journalist who is free to voice his/her opinion which puts the voice back into the journalist. This is especially important during a crisis situation where people need a sense of belonging where not only one party's viewpoint is superior. This is what blogs essentially provide to the audience.
In conclusion, both forms of journalism shine in different situations. The old media in events where factual information is more important than a presentation of opinions and the new media in situations of crisis when vividness of first person account and a sense of belonging is needed. Essentially, these two forms of media complement each other, where one is weak the other is strong. So, we would do best to draw on the strengths instead of fight the "press" in order to be well informed citizens of the world.
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