The Internet is rapidly becoming a platform for just about anyone to share information with the world, enabled by the unlimited access and ability to post material. We as users of the Internet, formerly the viewers/audience are now becoming active participants in the public sphere. There is also the assumption that whatever the news tells us, must be true and the only accurate source. However, the news only gives us a specified, subjective viewpoint of an event; the audience gains confidence from the authoritative news source reporting on current events. But there is an increasing amount of everyday people reporting or documenting breaking news events before the media can reach it.. This concept has been coined the term “citizen journalism” which ranges from an individual blogging or sharing relative issues or news circulating the media, to collaborative blogs, in which a group of individuals can share information with the blogosphere and the world.
Axel Bruns explains this concept in further detail in his article. In which he also states that “its discursive and deliberate and resembles a conversation rather than a lecture” and in this way, it can be said that the authors of blogs that are considered products of citizen journalism are more appealing in the public sphere; many viewpoints and perspectives are published in order for the audience to deduce their own opinions and reflect on the issues discussed.
Now with this open sharing network comes some criticism; many arguing that citizen journalism and the blogs or information they are sharing can be received as quite un-professional or not as accurate because it is seen as lacking “authority” because its not from a news source, which to me, seems a little judgmental and unfair to me, because the information being shared, say a video for example, may give an insight to the event from an eye-wotness point-of-view, making it seem more authentic then simply words from a news-reporter’s mouth.
The beauty of citizen journalism is that its able to be shaped by others in the public sphere as its a completely open source, which again highlights the idea of collaborative works, which give multiple viewpoints and perspectives on issues circulating the media and as much as we might try and prevent it, it will become as big as mainstream media … or so they say.