Citizen Journalism

by Hannah Klomp

Citizen Journalism. Have you heard of it? I’ve been doing a little bit of research on it whilst discovering more about the mobile phone, and I absolutely love what I’ve been finding.
The first time I heard the words ‘citizen journalism’ was actually in my BCM110 lecture where a news report of the floods in Queensland, Australia was being conveyed here compared to an individual citizen showing what he was seeing recorded with his mobile here. We evaluated it and concluded that both were actually quite reliable, and some stated that the citizen video may even be more reliable as it was a first hand encounter.
In this week’s BCM112 reading found here, the idea of citizen journalism was again discussed. This article talked about the influence that citizen journalism had on the information regarding events that became disclosed into the public sphere, and how mobile phones perpetuated the course of some events. This article specifically analyzed the influence mobile phones had on the events of SARS (2003), the Sumatra-Andaman Tsunami (2004) and the London bombings (2005). Overall the conclusion was that mobile phones could be beneficial in delivering certain messages and also may become the primary influence of news stories an articles relating to certain events although may be edited in later stages.
I personally think that citizen journalism is very beneficial to both society and journalists as it gives a first hand and primary encounter which ultimately remains true, as well as reliable. I do also think that the news reports do have an influence on the perpetuation of false information of certain events, as like we saw in the above videos, they are edited and specifically made to tell a story, therefore hides emotion and sometimes can be detrimental to a story.
What do you think about citizen journalism?