The world is changing, people are changing, society is changing. Things have always evolved, and things will always evolve. In more recent times, a lot of things that change have the internet to thank for that.
One industry that can thank the internet for it’s change is the journalism industry.
The news used to be about people in a room somewhere, finding things out, filtering it, and telling us what they think. That was the news. But it is no longer the news.
Consumers are now more active with their viewing than ever before. Consumers are no longer passive and are more involved in the news than ever before.
With the aid of the internet, websites like Reddit, Twitter and Buzzfeed are becoming sources for the public to hear the news, as well as contribute to it.
Even the term ‘journalist’ has changed, with websites like the Huffington Post gathering a whole bunch of information on a topic for users to access (x).
News organisations are now using websites like Twitter as sources, because that is where the news is breaking first. This is where the concept of a citizen journalist comes in. A citizen journalist is simply a member of the public who contributes to the discussion surrounding a topic that people are reading about. They’re not getting paid, they are simply spreading information with other people and sharing their opinion on it. Yes, some citizen journalists opinions can be biased and not correct, but that’s where the aggregation of websites like Twitter and Reddit come into it. Instead of one journalist reporting on something with a number of sources, people can now read about something in the news from many citizen journalists and many more sources and opinions.
I believe this is a healthy direction for the news to move toward. The more people sharing opinions, and the more discussion surrounding topics can only be a good thing for a society in general, and more importantly a more democratic and free world.