Can Citizen Journalism Help Revive Our Democracy?

February 20, 2010 at 4:47 pm Leave a comment

What is citizen journalism? It’s members of the community playing a role in collecting, contributing and disseminating news and information.

Robert McChesney’s beliefs include two things: 1. Democracy needs journalism/journalism needs democracy; 2. Democracy is following by the wayside because journalism isn’t doing it’s “duty”.

So in answer to my question, I’m going to go with an emphatic yes. McChesney would say the opposite due to the fact that he is very much in love with the idea of only professional journalism being able to inform and inspire citizens.

I think that citizen journalism inspires the public–possibly even more so than professional journalism. The fact that everyday people have a hand in creating the news means that they will more than likely be creating stories that interest them. These stories may also interest their peers, seeing as they are created by people in a similar position, and not some talking head only known from a television screen.

The problem that people raise with citizen journalism is that it should be left to the professionals, as they have gone to school and learned the standards of the industry. My response to that reasoning is the following: If this journalism isn’t working out how it is supposed to, maybe journalism schools need to change their approach. My other response is that maybe there should be journalism bootcamps set up across the country so that citizens are able to learn some professional standards.

Clearly something needs to change, otherwise everything is just going to continue down the same road. It’s time for a revolution…or a least a revamping!


Entry filed under: COM 580- Contemporary Media Issues.

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