Citizen journalism and its importance

Citizen journalism and its importance


Journalism is constantly struggling with the confidence of his audience, and to retain (or to return) positive reputation, requires adaptation to contemporary needs and demands of media consumers. These changes are imposed on their own, because of this multi-media age, people are in many ways involved in the media world with their comments, uploading photos and video clips. They are no longer just passive observers, but have the opportunity to be active creators and critics. Why then the media would not slightly opened the door a little more and allow entry into a whole new realm?

Citizen journalism is the dissemination of information by people who are not professional journalists. Citizens reporters do not do this kind of journalism because it is their job, but because of the way they want to improve society. Citizen journalism is the basis of democracy that encourages citizens to actively participate in social processes.

Jay Rosen, professor at  NYU, and  member of the Wikipedia advisory board,  gives this definition of citizien journalism. “When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another, that’s citizen journalism.” Taken from

Here you can watch video clip about this definition

The development of information and communication technologies, especially the Internet, has led to the emergence of citizen journalism, which means the active role of citizens in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information. All citizens create and distribute them with the help of mobile phones, the Internet, i-pod, computer, etc. Thanks to the  digital technology, citizen journalism is universally accessible and globally relevant, it becomes an important part of the content within the traditional media – both public and commercial. It has become an important corrections of official sources of information, it helped to create a real and objective view of the world.

When we look at the mass media, they are now mostly privately owned, and their main guide is profit. On the one hand, the media are financed by advertising, and something what usually happens is that advertisers and other factors largely influence the editorial policy. The development of technology has in many ways changed the mass media. This is primarily related to the emergence and development of the Internet, who first made that the popularity of other media declines, and then encourage the media to change and adapt their content. So today most newspaper companies have web sites, where you are able to read some of the free content from the print edition, or they have portal news. The development of the Internet has allowed newspapers to expand their ways to present content so that now they can in one place publish text, photos, videos, and immediately receive feedback from readers and the like.


As the Internet has expanded the possibilities of previous media, It also allow to ordinary people to express their opinion, and that opinion comes to millions of people worldwide. An important step happened during the late nineties, when began massive popularity of blogs. Blog  is a type of website that allows users to write on a variety of topics, from intimate diaries to political commentary. Today the blog is category that most newspapers have on their own website.

YouTube has launched a special channel called YouTube Reporter’s center, where citizens are able to look at a number of video tutorials in which, by some of the leading experts in the field of journalism explaining how to do amateur journalism, ie. civic journalism. It is covered a number of topics, from finding ideas for stories, technical implementation, presenting stories and etc. Then is open YouTube Direct, a channel where media can download or order a few of the amateur journalism works, in which are involved some major media companies such as The San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, The Huffington Post and Politico.

At the last World Blog Expo, held in September this year, a first training was made, about citizen journalism, for which there was great interest. The fact is that people are increasingly able to actively participate in commenting on current social events. Although it seems that the journalists in this way lose their place, they are actually in a position to improve the quality of their work, thanks to this new type of competition.

Here you can find more about World Blog Expo

The Guardian has made a system that gives readers insight into the stories that journalists and editors are processed, but also invites them to their comments and suggestions participate in choosing the topics they would like to read. Through the columns ‘News Desk live’ readers can follow the daily blog where journalists expose and explain the reason for selecting a particular story, concerning which will accurately report and why, while all stakeholders are free to express their ideas and suggestions, to make the final product in the better quality. Users can  contact the journalist via Twitter (# opennews). Also, under ‘You Tell Us’, readers everyday can comment and suggest ideas for topics news. While most of the media still prefer to close their doors  for proposals, and they think how to charge content that is interest only for minority, examples such as the Guardian, which is a prestigious British newspaper, gives a glimmer of hope that journalists still exist primarily because of its audience.

In contemporary society, the role of the media in many ways are changing. Although citizen journalism in some cases is dismissed as unnecessary and too amateur, big media companies had no choice but to support it.

Civil journalism can be a volunteer, but also people can earn money. Citizenside web site is good for both. Citizenside allows you to earn money for the photos and video clips, which you normally only published on your profiles of social networks.
Citizenside will pay up to 65 percent of the selling price of your photo or video, if it shows the media interest worldwide. Payment will be made to service your PayPal account for up to 60 days after the sale.

To the end, I suggest you to watch this funny, interesting, short video, which is the Winner of ‘Ad of the Year 2012’ by BBH London.