When you think of journalism you usually think of a professional reporter of some sort, am I right? Did you know that there are all different types of journalism? One of my favorite types of journalism is citizen-journalism. To put it shortly, citizen-journalism is when the public reports on what is going on. There are many different ways people can do this. The most common way is through social media such as Twitter. While some people may find citizen-journalism to be a problem, I find it to be very beneficial. It helps the public to learn what is going on at a faster pace than if it were just to show up on the news. The more people who are reporting what they are seeing the faster the news spreads, especially over social media. There are often times when the professional news crews cannot get to a scene right away and it helps to have citizens, who are there, report what they are seeing. Many people are impatient and they would not want to wait to find out what is happening so this is where the citizen-journalists come in very handy.
Often times national news sites will have a section on their website specifically for citizen-journalism. I personally enjoy looking at these sections and seeing how other people are interpreting certain events. You get to hear about peoples’ different reactions to events or the aftermath of events. It can help to keep you up to date on current events. For example, I remember on the day of April 15, 2013 (the day of the Boston Marathon bombings) constantly checking my twitter feed, especially when I wasn’t home and couldn’t watch the news. I relied on my twitter feed to keep me updated because there were people who were there who were tweeting what they were seeing and hearing. It was so helpful even though I was nowhere near the scene to still be able to know what was going on right away. I have a blog on tumblr.com as well and many of the people I follow are from the Boston area so many of them were also updating what was happening that day. If social media had not been keeping me up to date I wouldn’t have known half the things that were occurring as soon as I did. I can see where some people find faults in citizen-journalism, in which they wonder whether or not it is trustworthy. I think that although that is true, there is more out there that you can trust than not. Most of the false reports are easy to spot out so you just have to be careful about what you do believe. I do believe though that citizen-journalism is a step in the right direction.