A new topic has exploded on all platforms of social media: “Covid-19”.
“Seasoned veterans” of social media are using giant media outlets to share their talents and “newbies” are learning to embrace social media as their “new” normal. As we wade through endless streams of Citizen Journalism (the facts, the fake, the snitching, the horror, the healing, the heroism and the kindness), we find ourselves trusting social media to guide and inform us as we navigate through this difficult time. Why? Why did social media grow in popularity and how does it continue to endure the test of time?
Traditional media has been questioned and not trusted for many years before social media made it’s debut. Until the evolution of social media, society had relied upon traditional media to inform us of news events. Today, social media has changed how we are informed. We are no longer victims of large news networks owned and operated by rich powerful companies: Companies who edit and alter the information they share with society. This form of government regulation is being challenged by Citizen Journalists.
Citizen Journalists are able to capture stories traditional media would never be allowed to record. They are able to capture culture stories and news items where traditional media is frowned upon. Social media allows everyone who chooses, to act as a Citizen Journalist.
With the click of a button one can record, capture pictures, videos, document by voice or text and upload this information to their favorite media outlet. These events are captured in real time. In many cases Twitter and Facebook are the first to announce large news items. Traditional media falls behind in the race to inform the public.
Twitter and Facebook are among the most popular outlets chosen to share news items however, many peer sites like Reddit have built a large geography of followers. One is likely to read the “latest news” on these social media giants long before traditional media gets the approval to broadcast the news. It can’t be ignored that using social media is a way to capture the interest of millions for the good or for the bad. Media news can be falsely reported or done for the purpose of self gratification. Sometimes “news” produced through social media is satisfying for those who seek more gossip then reality. Traditional and social media have advantages and disadvantages but it is no mistake that traditional media is finding ways to cooperate and communicate with the Citizen Journalist. Non-cooperation will have devastating results.
Many Citizen Journalists have become famous for stories they have produced for society. Traditional media has recognized this and has found ways to entice the Citizen Journalist to share their news items. They are not only recognized but encouraged and even interviewed by large media corporations. This entices citizens to share or sell information to traditional media. It is not surprising then, that growing recognition for the Citizen Journalist is on the rise.
Social media has provided an outlet for Citizen Journalism and in turn has changed how people find and report news. In a society where government, politicians, and large companies are being questions and mistrusted, society is learning to rely on itself and Citizen Journalism is proving to be the answer.
With social media growing …newspapers and magazines rate lower in production and popularity. I can’t help but wonder if the fallout of Covid- 19 will be the final blow that leads to the end of some traditional media as we know it.
Noor, R., 2020. Citizen Journalism Vs. Mainstream Journalism: A Study On Challenges Posed By Amateurs. [online] Athensjournals.gr. Available at: <https://www.athensjournals.gr/media/2017-3-1-4-Noor.pdf> [Accessed 20 May 2020].
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Twitter: Social Media created the” Citizen Journalist Giant” #thejournalistgiant