What is Citizen journalism? Roles of Citizen journalism

Citizen journalism refers to reporting done by non-professional journalists who share information through websites, blogs, and social media. Other names of citizen journalism are collaborative media or street journalism.

The growth of multiple online internet platforms has made citizen journalism more possible. Citizen journalism has become more available to people all over the world. They thanks to new media technology such as social networking and media-sharing websites. Its popularity growing with the use of cellular phones. Recent technological advancements have begun to have a significant political impact.

Despite worries that citizen journalists are not as credible as trained professionals. Citizen journalism has grown in popularity around the world. Citizens in disaster areas have contributed real-time text and graphic reporting.

Because citizen journalism lacks a conceptual structure and guiding principles, it can be very opinionated and subjective. It is also serving as a supplement rather than a primary source of public opinion formation.

People in nations undergoing political turmoil, particularly those where the print and broadcast media control by the government. They have used a range of technology techniques to exchange information about hot areas. A dispute raged in the background of these events about whether the term “citizen journalism” was appropriate.


Thousands of news sites and millions of bloggers have emerged since then as a result of the Internet. While struggling with dwindling readership and viewership, traditional news organizations jumped into the game with their own Websites and blogs written by their journalists, and many newspapers welcomed users to contribute community news to their Websites.

Some individuals and organizations built their own “hyperlocal” news websites to cover events in their communities or specific topics of interest.


In South Korea, where the web entrepreneur Oh Yeon-ho announced in 2000 that “every citizen is a reporter,” both the word and the practice cemented. Oh, and three South Korean colleagues began an online daily newspaper in 2000 after becoming unhappy with the mainstream South Korean press, he says.

They launched OhmyNews, a Web site that depends on volunteers to generate material because they couldn’t afford to hire experts or print a newspaper. Oh, the firm’s president and CEO remarked in a speech commemorating the site’s seventh anniversary that the news site began with 727 citizen journalists in one country and had expanded to 50,000 individuals reporting from 100 countries by 2007.

The phenomenon refers to a variety of titles among people who study and promote citizen journalism. Editor J.D. Lasica knows as “participatory journalism” in a 2007 essay.  Although, he is also known as “a slippery beast.”

Everyone understands what audience involvement entails, but how does it apply to journalism? The founder and director of the Center for Citizen Media Dan Gillmor, agree that there is no single explanation for the news transition that began in the late 1990s. He is also the author of the book We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People (2004). Because of the democratization of access to inexpensive and ubiquitous publishing tools, he named this period “a time of great discovery.”

Role of Citizen Journalism:

Citizen journalism has played a significant influence in the political events of the twenty-first century. During the protests following the Iranian presidential election in June 2009, the website Twitter developed itself as an emerging channel for the sharing of information.

Although,  the story that the protests did not result in a change in the election results or a fresh election, de facto journalists’ tweets protest the power of citizen journalism to bypass official control.

Objectivity Citizen Journalism:

Citizen journalists may also be activists in the regions about which they write. Traditional media outlets, such as The New York Times, have criticized proponents of public journalism. It accuses the losing the traditional purpose of neutrality.

Many traditional journalists are skeptical about citizen journalism. They claim that only professional journalists can realize the discipline and ethics necessary in news reporting.

In a recent scholarly study, Vincent Maher, the director of Rhodes University’s New Media Lab, identified various flaws in citizen journalists’ statements in terms of the “three deadly E’s,” or ethics, economics, and epistemology.

According to Patricia Bou-Franch, a language and linguistics expert, some citizen journalists used abuse-sustaining narratives to normalize violence against women.  She says that others who questioned the gender notions of male violence against women opposed these discussions.

Quality of Citizen Journalism:

Tom Grubisich analyzed ten new citizen journalism sites in 2005. He find out the results that many of them were both quality and content. “Potemkin Village Redux” was released after one year by Grubisich. He gets results that the finest sites had improved editorially and were even approaching profitability, but only because editorial costs were not expensed. The report also claims that the sites with the poorest editorial content were able to develop quickly because they had more financial resources.

Backfence is a citizen journalism website with three basic locations in the D.C. area. It was the subject of another story published on the Pressthink. The site has only received a small number of citizen submissions.  As a result, the author concludes, “Backfence’s pages, in reality, feel like frontier country — distant, often lonely, and zoned for people but not inhabited by any. Arlington, Virginia’s website launch the website recently. Backfence, on the other hand, may end up creating more ghost towns without new residents.”

While citizen journalists are prone to criticism for their accuracy because they can report in real-time. They are not subject to monitoring, news items produced by mainstream media occasionally fake news facts that are correctly shared on websites or social media by citizen journalists. Only 32% of the population of the United States has a high level of trust in the media.

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