I find the whole notion of social media used for citizen journalism a compelling phenomenon. While I am not one to voluntarily use twitter by any means I do understand the power it olds in delivering uncensored news in real time. As put forward by Axel Bruns, at the heart of “mainstream journalism offers news as a product: a collection of easily digestible reports based on research and ready for consumption.” This largely relates to legacy media, which gives us the mass mainstream broadcast of news we hear everyday. The problem with this, however is it relies on gatekeeping and a one to one mode of communication. Distributed media, however has allowed individuals anytime, anywhere to contribute to the conversation, thus what we have is citizen journalism.
“Consumers have become prosumers, where the ecology of participation is its own reward”
As further iterated by Bruns, “citizen journalism provides news as process: a continuing and necessarily unfinished coverage of topics and events inviting user participation aiming to achieve what can be described as ‘deliberative journalism”. The role of social media in journalism, has essentially transformed the industry, whether the ‘Arab Spring’, which could be consider the catalyst for implementing social media for political reform or a current examples such as the ‘Black lives matter’ campaign, it is no doubt that social media will continue to be used as a political tool of social engagement.
Bruns, A. (2009) ‘News Blogs and Citizen Journalism: New Directions for e-Journalism’