Citizen journalism is becoming a more popular way to spread news throughout the world. It is “a citizen, or group of citizens, with an active role in different processes: picking up news, analysis, and spread news and information.” People have many different opinions on citizen journalism. One side that many professional journalists agree with is that journalism is a professional job which cannot be used for everyone. There are certain rules and ethics that must be followed and respected. The other side of the argument is that people view this form of journalism as a citizen incursion in the information society and think it is helpful.
After doing some research about the positives and negatives of citizen journalism, I can see why there are two differing opinions on the subject. According to For Starters: Pros and Cons of Citizen Journalism, the pros of citizen journalism are, “it provides the community with a different perspective, it helps to get local citizens more engaged in the issues affecting their lives, for activism, and it makes possible the coverage of events that the mainstream media might otherwise miss.” I would agree with all of these pros because citizens journalism has opened up a new side to journalism where people can see all different sides of a news story, the side from the media as well as the view from a citizen. It has also given people the opportunity to contribute to newspapers by sharing their photos, videos and videos with journalists. Local citizens are more likely to become involved in the issues affecting their lives if they are able to contribute and share their stories and have people listen to them. Really all someone needs to be a citizen journalist is a camera, information, and communication; it is similar to mobile journalism. Although many positives come out of citizen journalism, many people, including journalists, do not share those opinions.
Taking a look at the negative side of citizen journalism, there are very valid reasons for why people are against it. The cons that are given in For Starters: Pros and Cons of Citizen Journalism are that, “citizen journalists have no formal training in reporting, citizen reporters don’t have any ethics training in how to handle certain situations that may arise, and how exactly do we define news? There is a big discrepancy in this, as everyone has their own idea of what is considered important.” In order to be a journalist, journalists go through extensive training and have studied for years in order to get to where they are. It is not fair to them if they spend all of this time studying and taking the time to follow the path to become a journalist, when citizen journalists do not have any training or background in journalism.
Both of these opposing sides give valid reasons as to why citizen journalism is good or not. It gives many people the opportunity to share their opinion on certain topics and people become more involved in the the problems that affect their lives, but it is also unfair to journalists who have put in the time and effort to become a journalist.