The Collision of New Media & Citizen Journalism

Guest Post by: Courtney Perry

Being that I major in journalism, I think the changing state of journalism is very interesting. Once upon a time, you needed to be a trained writer in order to consider yourself a Journalist, but with the introduction of social media and blogging websites, it has taken a more nontraditional turn.  Journalists now have to adapt to the changes caused by the internet in order to compete with anyone on social media with a nice size following or impressive blog views.

Born Just RightA perfect example of adapting to new media is given in this chapter. During the pregnancy of Jennifer Reeves, a broadcast news Professor at Missouri School of Journalism, her baby’s umbilical cord wrapped around her child’s arm, cutting off the blood flow. Ultrasounds did not pick this up, which resulted in her child needing a prosthetic limb. Wanting to build a community where parents going through similar ordeals could share experiences and learn from other another, Reeves created a blog called “Born Just Right.” Reeves’ audience began to grow, attaining more than three thousand views, getting her to a place where she can now earn money from her blog.

Reeves is a great example of standard journalism and new media colliding to create a cohesive blend of both worlds. As an aspiring journalist who is also interested in the world of blogging, it is refreshing to see the two working together to create something that brings together and informs a community of people from all over the world.

Although there are great things about new media and citizen journalism, it can also be problematic. Knowing that anyone can gain a large Twitter following or that a blog can receive hundreds or thousands of hits, this platform may not always be used correctly. As a journalist, one piece of information that is constantly stressed is reporting accurate news. A lot of news organizations and citizen journalists want to be the first one to report breaking news, often times, the news they give is not true.

What is another major problem? Not crediting your sources. As quoted in the book “Journalists are required to note the originators of their information when reporting on documents or interviews.” Obviously it is stealing if you do not credit where you received your information. No matter the platform chose to report news, being accurate and truthful shows credibility and is a professional thing to do.

There are pros and cons to new media and citizen journalism. Although I enjoy seeing the progression, we should all move into this new era with caution. When making this transition into new media, what is most important is to present what is true.  There are people all over the world who read what we say, so we cannot steer them in the wrong direction.

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