BCM112-Week 5

It’s lucky I have a sense of irony. Listening to the lecturer talk about legacy media, my mind was drifting off (as it always does) to other things. I was thinking about the coffee I was going to order on my break, the fact that I have to wait approximately 100 days until season 7 of GOT (Game of Thrones) and I was considering my career prospects for this degree. When I began to contemplate a journalism degree (due to my love of writing), our lecturer Ted mentions citizen journalism…Yes, this is when I started to pay attention.

Not only did I realise that a journalism degree would mean an extra couple of years at university, but that it is almost completely useless in a world where literally anyone can report on an event or issue, post it on the internet, and still be called a journalist. This is citizen journalism.

Especially considering the internet is devoid of what Ted calls a ‘gatekeeper,’ which means that the information being posted by individuals on the internet is not fact-checked, proofed or otherwise backed up (I mean, it could be, but this is where the trust issue comes in to play). There are no obstacles when it comes to posting, which opens up the world of journalism for everyone but means that ANYTHING can be reported and we, as consumers, are just expected to trust it. This is a stark contrast to publishing houses or newspapers when the ‘gatekeeper’ is the editor, and everything is checked before it goes to print and is released to the populace. This was identified by Axel Bruns himself, who stated;

“A shift from dedicated individuals and teams as producers to a broader-based, distributed generation of content by a wide community of participants.”

The below video emphasises the rise in citizen journalism and how it has changed the landscape of 21st century reporting.

So let me ask you this; why are individuals (such as myself) considering paying hundreds of dollars for a degree, when you can become a journalist for free?

Meg xo


10 thoughts on “BCM112-Week 5”

  1. Hi Megan

    Great that you have brought this up. When I listen to Ted talk about drones being journalists, and that basically any citizen can be a journalist, I cringe a little in my seat. I think about the fact that there must be plenty of students sitting in this class beginning to worry about the amount of money they are spending on a degree and what the heck are they doing this for, when anyone can be a journalist! But I am sure that Wollongong University, would not offer a degree for a dying profession.
    Its more likely that the roles within the industry will change, perhaps there will be many more free lance Journalists. Journalists that create all their own materials, and get a reputation for being truthful. Citizens may demand this once they reflex upon what is happening at the moment within the media.

    I found this great article that gives a bit of perspective: http://newsafternewspapers.blogspot.com.au/2010/12/what-will-journalism-look-like-10-years.html

    Happy reading. And remember knowledge is power, so having a degree will ensure that your work is always great work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Michelle, I’m so glad you agree! This week’s lecture really opened up my eyes when it comes to gaining a career that you really don’t require a degree for. But you are right, a degree goes a long way and UOW must have faith in their system. Your comment has certainly eased my mind regardless, so thankyou for that! I will definetely keep up with reading your posts!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Meg,

    I thought this was really awesome. I so often find myself in your position. The topic of citizen journalism makes me question what the heck I am doing. I think your examples sum up what you are saying. I feel a little intimidated it all the time, with all the information we are getting. It is really good to know I’m not the only one. I think we are here to learn about this and appropriate it into our own practices. To learn about what the future technology hold, to use it to our advantage as communicators. Technology isn’t reliable the whole time. There will be plenty of work, don’t freak out too much, I think the above comment really does put it all in perspective. Keep being truthful. Its a great attribute as a writer.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Megan,
    For starters, I love how personalised and story-like your blog post is, you can really see the writer within. I’m going to be completely honest I have (obviously) been tuning out every time Ted has talked about “gatekeepers” and through your blog post I have finally learnt, in a nut shell, what the term means. Also your embedded video is a very good summary of the whole “citizen journalists” concept and the perspective of what I would call a professional citizen journalist is very informative.
    *Just a tip for next time try to avoid using Ted’s name, as he has mentioned it may confuse outside readers*
    Otherwise I really enjoyed your post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Megan, I totally agree it really makes me cringe at the thought of citizen journalism when I know there’s a ton of uni students with a large HECS debt to become a journalist. I really wouldn’t trust just anyone reporting a big event or news as I scroll through twitter. I really like the video you’ve embed into your blog post as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Megan, this post was really well written and aesthetically pleasing. Personally, everytime i hear the term ‘Citizen Journalism’ my mind always goes back to the 2014 film “Nightcrawler”. I found your point about uni fees really interesting. I do think that doing a Journalism degree is still worth it, mainly cos despite the technicality of the term “citizen journalism”, people will still prefer to watch or read content that has been properly researched and thought out.

    Good Job!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi there meg, great blog post, nicely memed, my friend.
    I’m especially interested in the part where you exclaim that a degree in journalism is “completely useless”, because I believe that this is an objective opinion. Yes, its true that since the internet happened, everyone and their sister can consider themselves a ‘citizen journalist’ in one way or another, however this does not mean that all of their content is going to be of great value. You have recognised this phenomenon in your post, when discussing the term ‘gatekeeper’. Because of this I believe that studying a degree in journalism may not be redundant as we may think. Consider an individual who uses the knowledge they have gained to create a career for themselves by shining brighter than all ‘gatekeepers’, building a successful career as a journalist, in all kinds of media. Never stop dreaming Meg!!!!

    with love, Puby

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey Meagan,
    Really enjoyed reading your blog and yes I enjoy how you have the personal touch with the audience which keeps it an interesting blog. As a media student I do agree understanding this shift that has happened from legacy media to the digital world has caused tremendous impact in the way people receive their news. The audience has now shifted from a passive audience to an active audience and are the news that we receive. We have somehow evolved and taken the media as it comes without even realising the shift. However, people who have lived with legacy media have been unable to shift to the digital world and find it more difficult. https://mondaynote.com/hard-comparison-legacy-media-vs-digital-native-6adf558ff308 This article is a good ready about the shift that we faced. The way we work today has become a world where we rely on electronics and every job requires the basic literacy of the computer.

    This blog was a very good blog and got me thinking on all this.
    Do keep the blogs coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey Meg,
    Great blog post here, I really enjoy your thoughts on citizen journalism and the lack of fact checking and credibility within the field. I think the lack of gatekeepers within citizen journalism is extremely worrying, while legacy media is more closed at least there is a bit more authority within their news. I think we need to be our own ‘gatekeepers’ of our own content, to dispell the spread of ‘fake news’. I really enjoyed the video, but this is a pretty good source to further explain citizen journalism, https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-citizen-journalism-2073663.
    Thanks, Daina.


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