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.