Citizen media is content created by ordinary folks who are not journalists. Citizen journalism, participatory media, and democratic media are all interconnected concepts. People share stories through blogs, social networking, photo sharing sites, and other tools. The Internet has increased the reach of citizen journalism by making it possible for more people to report from more places than ever before.
Citizen media news is news that is produced and distributed primarily by citizens themselves. As well as being used colloquially, the term "citizen media" has been adopted by some news organizations to describe their work. For example, the UK-based magazine New Statesman describes itself as a "citizen media company". In addition to New Statesman, other examples include the US-based political blog Daily Kos and the Australian technology news site TechCrunch.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines news as "information or reports about current events that are published in newspapers or similar publications". However, this definition does not account for many forms of news that do not appear in print magazines or newspapers. These include news videos uploaded to YouTube, news articles shared on social networking sites such as Facebook, and photos taken by civilians that end up on Wikipedia or Flickr. Some academics believe that due to its wide distribution, the Internet has had an effect on how news is defined and delivered.
Citizen journalism entails private persons, who are typically journalism's customers, creating their own news material. Citizens gather, report, evaluate, and spread news and information in the same way as professional journalists do, resulting in user-generated content. Unpaid citizens may write about issues that interest them or offer opinions on events in their community. Some write under their own names while others use aliases to protect their identities from abuse, harassment, and other risks associated with online communication.
Citizen journalism has become popular in recent years due to the growth of web-based media. Most news organizations now include some form of user contribution on their websites, either directly through social networking sites or by hiring independent bloggers or "word slingers" who can get exclusive stories written for major publications. The number of individuals writing for newspapers has also increased due to citizen journalism, as more outlets seek out independent contributors rather than rely only on staff writers.
Citizen journalism differs from traditional newsgathering in several ways. First, it involves an audience contributing content. This may be accomplished by asking readers to submit photos from their cell phones during a natural disaster or asking people in a particular area for their thoughts on a controversial issue. Second, citizen journalists are not employed by a newspaper or other organization; they are usually self-employed. This means they must develop their own sources of revenue to cover their expenses while pursuing their interests in journalism.
Citizen Journalism Everyday individuals are breaking news via the internet, capturing events with devices such as cellphones and digital cameras. It stresses discourse, participant participation, and the blurring of borders between journalist and audience. For example, blogging and Wikinews.
Citizen journalism has become popular in the 21st century due to the proliferation of online media. The term is used to describe any journalism that involves ordinary people rather than traditional journalists. Examples include bloggers who report on news stories through their own websites and social networking profiles, and photojournalists who capture events using their phones or other devices. Citizen journalism can be good or bad; some examples include tabloid and business-oriented reporting, while others involve in-depth analysis by scholars.
In 2004, Edward Wasserman from the University of South Carolina introduced the concept of "Web 2.0 citizen journalism." He defined it as "online journalism that relies heavily on user input, comments, and feedback to determine what content should be produced and how it should be presented to readers."
Since then, many other academics have also contributed ideas about how citizen journalism can be improved. In 2009, Andrew Elliot from Oxford Brookes University proposed six principles for good online citizen journalism. These include: neutrality, accountability, integrity, diversity, respect for others, and recognition for good work.