Traditional journalism has seen a steady decline with sources revealing a 48% drop since 2006… but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Think how significantly the definition of a ‘journalist’ has expanded and transformed to fit into the new digital era. Although traditional mainstream journalism might be coming to the end of its road, journalism it’s self will always persist.
I chuckled when reading journalist Marina Shifrin’s blog post as she described Journalism as being ‘The Madonna of professions; it will get face lifts until it outlives us all’. Journalism is simply transforming and adapting to new the ever-evolving media scape. The rise of digital journalism sees news being presented through videos, social networks, and blogging. We see sites, such a Facebook and Twitter being major platforms of breaking news as they allow for unpredictability and give both consumers and major news corporations an chance deliver news as news as it’s unfolding.
Citizen Journalism presents an opportunity to deliver an unfiltered perspective of news. Leah King, CNN’s participation director makes note of the fact that “we are all carrying cameras, we have something to say, and… we all increasingly have an expectation to hear our own voices and see our work reflected in the media we watch” (Henriquez, G 2012). This participatory culture has ultimately changed the way we consume and understand news.
It has also given people the opportunity to interact with media organisations and vice versa. CNN encourages user-generated content with iReport, an initiative that allows people from all over the world to contribute pictures and videos of breaking news stories. CNN even gives annual iReport Awards out to celebrate the positive impact citizen journalism. They give credit to all sorts of news categories such as breaking news, Original Reporting, Commentary, Compelling Imagery, Personal Story and In-depth Story Telling.
This is an iReport Award Recipient in the personal story category, which shows an Autistic child share his story with CNN viewers. The fact that it hasn’t been edited or screened creates a more authentic message. The viewership, which is currently at 11, 443, is a powerful indication of how real stories can connect with audiences and encourage their engagement.
Henriquez, G 2013, ‘The Rise and Impact of Citizen Journalism’, An Informative and Creative Space About Technology, viewed 1/04/14, <http://hightechgalore.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/the-rise-and-impact-of-citizen.htm>
Kent, T 2013, ‘A Whole New Kind of Journalism’, Huff Post Media, veiwed 1/04/14, <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thomas-kent/a-whole-new-kind-of-journ_b_3611729.html>