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Is citizen journalism the saviour of a free press Discuss the opportunities and challenges raised by this new form of media, production with reference to specific examples - Essay Example

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In the past journalism relied on the traditional means of conveying media to the people through televisions, radios and magazines. Nowadays, as the…
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Is citizen journalism the saviour of a free press Discuss the opportunities and challenges raised by this new form of media, production with reference to specific examples
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Free Press Essay Plan Introduction In the new era, with the invention of computers, internet and social media devices, a lot have changed in regard to journalism. In the past journalism relied on the traditional means of conveying media to the people through televisions, radios and magazines. Nowadays, as the society is changing to become a global village while interconnected with a vast number of social media, journalism has taken a turn. Nowadays, instead of people relying on major news stations to receive the latest updates on major events, people have taken the role to be journalists by reporting the news themselves (Alex 2013, p.67). This is what is commonly known as citizen journalism and has taken toll in social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. The world by being connected by the internet has made news transmission faster and easier to obtain from all corners of the world. In the event of major news events, some influential people in the social media platform tend to have large crowds of people that follow them and believe in everything that they say (Wall 2012, p.42). Nowadays, majority of people receive breaking news via this platform from the so called citizen journalists rather than the official news media.
Thesis statement: Citizen journalism has its advantages and disadvantages as it will be discussed in the essay below.
Body
Paraphraph 1
Citizen journalism has provided the chance for the mass to receive firsthand information from those at the scene of events rather than getting them from the news anchors who are secondary respondents to the event scenes. Take for instance a case of a fire in a major building in your town, if a neighbor is on twitter or Facebook, he or she can take pictures of the burning building and warn friends living in the area. Such news will spread like wildfire as a response team swing action (Allan 2009, p.34). All in all, when compared to a news anchor who will arrive hours later at the crime scene, indicates that the citizen journalist was the first respondent and the most useful in this case.
Paragraph 2
The disadvantage of citizen journalist is that they may sometimes spread lies that can lead to defamation of others. Take for instance a citizen journalist spreading news that Jay Z is dead through the social media (Croft 2014). Such information would cause a lot of stir and even make major news companies to look up for the truth behind the news. Therefore, people have to be careful on the kind of news which they can believe and those which they believe. It is estimated that 50% of the news produced by citizen journalist are false; therefore care has to be taken before trusting the news source (William 2008, p.67). Citizen journalists are not liable in case of such news since they do not represent any major company, hence sometimes can deliver the message in an unprofessional manner making the news sound like a joke, when in some case, it might be serious.
Conclusion:
In conclusion, it is evident that citizen journalists have revolutionized the way in which information reaches to the public. Major social platforms like Facebook and Twitter have also played a major role in the spread of such news among various cliques. In as much as citizen journalism is good, it also has disadvantages in that it can lead to spread of false information.
Bibliography
Allan, S., 2009, Citizen Journalism: Global Perspectives. New York: Peter Lang.
Alex, S., 2013, Citizen Witnessing: Revisioning Journalism in Times of Crisis. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Croft, D., 2014, September 20, Jay-Z death hoax spreads on Facebook. Retrieved November 19, 2014, from mediamass.net: http://en.mediamass.net/people/jay-z/deathhoax.html
Wall, M., 2012, Citizen Journalism: Valuable, Useless, Or Dangerous? Washington: International Debate Education Association.
William, L., 2008, Covering the Unknown City: Citizen Journalism and Marginalized Communities. Houston : ProQuest. Read More
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