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.
— Megan Adler (@megan_anne246) April 2, 2017
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?