From Citizen Journalism to Collective Intelligence

To continue with the idea of the audiences role in the media found in previous blogs, this blog delves into citizen journalism which is present in today’s media and how information from all these sources are collected.

Anyone with equipment to do so can themselves become a journalist. The motives behind citizens who do involve themselves in journalism range from wanting to make it their profession, to inform a community of what’s happening in their local area, or as a passion.

The highly acclaimed film ‘Nightcrawler’ starring Jake Gyllenhaal is about a young and unemployed individual who stumbles upon the world of freelance crime journalism. From what at first is a method of earning good money, the profession becomes an obsession and he craves the thrill. Throughout the film, the reality of freelance crime journalism is exposed as these journalists are shown to manipulate what is shown or even alter the scene itself to create more impacting footage.

Whilst the film does expose the negatives of citizen journalism through the circumstances of the main character’s haunting personality, an important aspect to the presence of citizen journalism is the collection of different information culminating in collective intelligence. Stories are able to be captured from different viewpoints to provide multiple perspectives such as phone recorded videos of an event taking place. Although not all information captured by citizen journalists can be legitimate, for the most part, all information collected on a story, distributed through different outlets such as the news, independent news sites or podcasts can illustrate a clearer picture of stories.

There is no simple method of stopping citizen journalism, as every individual who holds a smart phone are capable of being a citizen journalists. But it is clear a main advantage to this presence in the media is that the collection of information taken from both professional journalists and citizen journalists will culminate in collective intelligence as the stories and events taking place are taken from multiple perspectives.

3 thoughts on “From Citizen Journalism to Collective Intelligence

  1. Great read! The example of Night Crawler was absolutely perfect to demonstrate the dark side of citizen journalism. Watching that movie myself, I found the main character to be pretty cool actually, because of his “I can do what the professionals do” attitude, but that quickly turns daft and quite sickening, to be honest. I really enjoy your focus on the negatives of citizen journalism since I have only really considered the benefits of the average person reporting a story… BEFORE the media arrives. But? Then again, maybe we need both? Your article reflects the stark opposite of what I understood citizen journalism to be.
    The only thing I wish your article included, was the entire Night Crawler movie. ACE!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was a great read! LOVE the trailer reference, fits perfectly with the concept of citizen journalism. I feel as though you really understood the way citizen journalism works and how it is really coming through. Though I feel as though you could’ve really pushed an argument here of journalism as a career verses citizen journalism because it would’ve been really interesting to see how you feel about that. Also do you find citizen journalism as effective as regular journalism? Otherwise great read, easy way for someone to gain knowledge on citizen journalism 🙂


  3. Hey Ryan,
    I loved reading this! It was really interesting and kept me attentive for the whole read! Having no prior knowledge of this topic you really taught me something. The only fault I could find is that it could have gone into more detail. Overall, fantastic post.
    – Marc


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