Citizen Journalism – Journalism Without the Phone Hacking

2011 was surely the year of the citizen journalist, both nationally and internationally. There was so much going on in a single year that it was hard for the average journalist to keep up. If it wasn’t Tunisia starting the domino effect of civil uprisings, then it was hoodies picking up a free TV or two over the summer.

Luckily nearly every big news story had a cluster of people in tail, pointing camera phones at the action and uploading their shaky and slightly grainy footage to various platforms.

Even if they couldn’t be there, people were still sharing news online as soon as (or moments before) it broke. For example. during the raid on Osama Bin Laden a local man still manage to inadvertently tweet about  it, including gems such as:

and finally…

A huge way to show the potential communication power of Twitter…

Of course Citizen Journalism is not a new fad, triggered by an action packed 2011. The notion of having the general public report on the happenings around them is a natural thing. People instinctively want to share what’s happening in the world with each other.  But what effect has social media had on Citizen journalism?

The two seem to naturally go hand-in-hand. Social media has given multiple platforms for Citizen journalists to broadcast from, whether it is Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, WordPress… the list goes on. There are practically no restrictions to what Citizen journalists can post either. There isn’t the same editorship and restrictions faced by conventional journalists.

Sharing content is now easier than ever. This fact, coupled with advances in technology like smart phones,  has actively encouraged more people to try their hand at Citizen Journalism. A prominent example of this was during the London riots of August 2011.

Citizen Journalism really played a big role in reporting the action, highlighting the sluggish nature of the big name TV rolling news channels in their reporting of the incidents. People followed the rioters, filming & tweeting what was happening, whilst others chose to film incidents from the safety of their homes when the riots came their way, putting it on YouTube almost instantly:

Even conventional journalists were resorting to a more ‘Citizen’ approach with the way they were reporting. The Guardian’s Paul Lewis donned a hoodie and passed himself off as a part of the mob, which allowed him to secretly get quotes from rioters and live tweet action as it was happening. Whether you consider it to be brave or stupid, you have to agree that it was unconventional, cutting edge reporting, made possible by social media.

Around the world, similar trends were taking place. The death of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi saw a darker side of Citizen Journalism, when several grainy videos and still images made their way online showing his last moments, as well as his death. It speaks volumes about modern society and Citizen Journalism when a regime falls and there are a cluster of people on hand with camera phones, capturing uncensored history to share with the world, where mainstream journalism was thin on the ground.

Citizen Journalism has been revolutionised by social media, allowing audiences to see the bigger picture of a news story, from a point of views that a conventional media outlet may not have been able to reach.

1 Response to “Citizen Journalism – Journalism Without the Phone Hacking”


  1. 1 http://comment-pirater-un-compte-facebook.com// November 14, 2013 at 21:49

    Bien le bonjour, est-ce que qulqu’un sait si ce site Internet marche pour hacker un compte sur Facebook : http://comment-pirater-un-compte-facebook.com/ Merci d’avance Sylvie


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