Ever since 9/11 took citizen journalism, ordinary people on the street giving their side of the stories dominating the headlines, to the next level, the desire for the genre has grown.
From the Iraq war, and the current race for the White House, people everywhere are having their say.
Web video, along with sites such as Twitter, is playing a big part in this, with vlogging becoming more popular every day.
YouTube Takes It Mainstream
YouTube recently introduced an entire channel for citizen journalism and reporters, causing many to applaud it for its foresight. While I agree that a channel devoted to citizen journalism on a mainstream site like YouTube is a good thing, citizen journalists don’t need the approval of a mainstream web site to be heard.
We are already attuned to their message – we hear them loud and clear.
There are already powerful citizen journalists showcasing their work and getting their message out all over the web.
Citizen Journalists Already Out There
From Collateral on BlipTV to the individual bloggers and Twitter users who broadcast the news as they see it happen every day on up to Michael Moore, who made a big career out of the citizen journalist style of reporting.. they are already on the internet, on your television screen, at the movies… in your face.
That said, how can being indexed into channels on a more mainstream internet site like YouTube help citizen journalism as a whole? It gives the voices of the few one more place to be heard to the many, for one thing.
Also, the unfortunate truth is that the more mainstream the site, the more everyday people accept the videos as news, as opposed to seeing them as the rantings of a few internet kooks.
Vloggers = Journalists?
Are all vloggers and bloggers citizen journalists? No, I don’t think so, but they all have the potential to be. Are all citizen journalism vlogs completely factual and devoid, no, but these days neither are many mainstream news outlets like Fox News, quite frankly.
Citizen journalism simply offers one more viewpoint on breaking news, allowing another way for the average citizen to educate themselves about what is really happening in the world around them.
Here To Stay?
Is citizen journalism here to stay? It should be, but if we aren’t vigilant about issues like network neutrality and recent attempts to monitor, throttle and otherwise control our internet use, those voices could be silenced. That would be a loss for all of us.
This article is based on a Profy post written by Leslie Poston.
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