The emergence of social media has made journalists very defensive of the status of their jobs, and for good reason. Platforms like Twitter, Vine, and Snapchat help propagate citizen journalism which is defined as “playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information.” Journalists argue that there are professional rules one must adhere to when informing society, but sometimes there isn’t enough time to check grammar when tweeting about a plane crash in the Hudson River.
As an aspiring journalist, I can understand how civic journalism can be annoying. Professional journalists busted their asses to get their degree for a job, and some average Joe is gonna undermine all their effort by being at the right place, at the right time and recording it? You betcha!
Hot and British gentleman Paul Lewis explains what civic journalism in his amazing TED Talk. I highly recommend watching it because he is hot and British (and informative, I guess).
Today it’s possible to become a journalist without having to even study it. Yup, that’s right… no need to take Journalism Law, Writing Reporting and Editing, or Visual Communications to spread the news, all you need is a smartphone, and Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, and Vine. Pick your potion. Oh, and according to Dan Grillmor, author of We the Media, you also need to be meticulous, precise, impartial, transparent, and independent. So maybe it’s worth it to get that journalism degree…
So while civic journalism aggravates some professionals, others have embraced the phenomena that social media mothered with the purpose of improving their news platforms, like The Guardian. They created Guardian Witness, an app that promotes civic journalism by asking its readers to submit videos, stories, and photos they deem have journalistic value. This is an extremely good tactic because promoting civic journalism actually gives them more information that they don’t even have to pay for! Cha-ching!
So maybe you don’t think that being active on social media equates to what it takes to being a journalist; well, you’re kind of right! BUT, here is another video about the impact civic journalism can have on society which you MUST WATCH because it’s about the three little pigs.