The height of the digital age we live in has brought to light the power of citizen journalism. Crucial moments and crises are live streamed, recorded, and posted to social media seconds after they occur. Not only does this leave less room for lies and fabrication, it also gives the public direct access to news. Due to the nature of the way we use our smartphones, someone is always there to catch a crucial moment in real time.
Citizen journalism has quickly become the primary way news is disseminated
So how does this new culture of journalism affect us? We see the power of citizen journalism in many cases over the past decade. Whether it be police brutality or a hair in your food at Chipotle, citizen journalism gives the public a voice they didn’t always have. The positives to the power of citizen journalism are that it can and has righted many wrongs. Without proof, many injustices stay out of the public eye. However, the downside to the prevalence of citizen journalism is that it makes the “truth” subjective. Many people disseminate news via social media without checking the facts. With citizen journalism, credibility is very low.
In the past, the public has looked too large entities such as CNN or Fox for news, but due to the power of citizen journalism, these outlets are often too slow. Citizen journalism is continually evolving. The way we collect and disseminate information today could be completely different from the way we do it in five years. We now must remember to be selective in the news outlets we choose to hear. The power of citizen journalism has forced the public to be more conscious of their social and political environments. Through observation and adaptation, citizen journalism can be a useful tool.