Citizen Journalism

Through history we humans have always had the curiosity and necessity to ear stories. It doesn’t really matter whether they are real stories or fictional stories; we just need to follow the narrative structure of those stories that remind us of our own lives. But with the pass of time and the development of technology we have been able to access an almost unlimited amount of information. And it is thanks to that that the figure of the “informative story teller” was created, giving place to the birth of the journalist work.

As time keeps passing and technology developing we have reach a point where not only can we access to real-time information about anything around the world, but also we can create that information and share it with the world. This has been a huge revolution on the way we think about news nowadays, for not only professional journalists can offer it but anyone with a mobile phone who is at the right place on the right moment.

We can say that citizen journalism, as it is called, is reshaping the world, just as Brian Conley relates about his personal experience on his TED Talk. Now we don’t have to wait to get a newspaper or to see the news on TV to know what has happened, sometimes we don’t even have to google it, for it just pops up on our Social Media feed.

One of the first examples of citizen journalism I can think of happened on September de 11 of 2001, when the terrible attack on the Twin Towers took place. At least in Spain, the first videos that were displayed on the news were sent by bystanders who just happened to be there on that dreadful moment.

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You can watch the video here

Since that moment forward we can say that citizen journalism has been rising. Nowadays almost everyone has access to a digital camera to take pictures or videos and to a computer to write. Furthermore, the huge development of the digital world, and I am not only talking about Social Media Accounts, I am also referring to all those blogs and websites that are dedicated exclusively to citizen journalism such as Ground Report or All Voices.

About the usefulness of citizen journalism I must say that it can be tricky. It is true that overtime there have been terrorist attacks of natural disasters whose knowledge has been spread thank to it allowing us to react to it as soon as possible. But we mustn’t forget about all those sites of false news that can lead us to confusion.

As a conclusion I would like to state that citizen journalism is a powerful tool on our hands, but we must think critically about the news we read and contrast the information before believing it.

 

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