Citizen Journalism: A new way to seek news

When we seek news we are ultimately seeking the truth, the unbiased unabridged story.  However that is not always what we get as stories pass through the gates of the media who disperse news to the masses.  In light of that situation, citizen journalism has adapted and filled in some of the cracks that traditional journalism has created. With the wide availability of the internet it is becoming possible for more people to have the opportunity to share their thoughts, opinions and to become citizen journalists.  Will citizen journalism force change upon traditional journalism?

The media does not necessarily intentionally act as a ‘gatekeeper’ many stories get less attention than others, however this is somewhat different in the online sphere.  When users are seeking content on the web they are able to have  more control over the content because they are actively seeking what stories are of interest to them.  While the mainstream media still has control over what content is in existence on a particular news site the user has the power to dictate what content is important.  This week my guess is that stories about Kim Kardashian are blowing up many  major news outlets, but hey its what the user wants, right? is a prime example of users having control over content, whatever users deem most appropriate moves to the top of the front page.  My first thought about Digg was that it is an interactive newspaper and the users get to decide what is above the fold.  ‘Guerrilla News Network’ also gives the user some choice about what stories are displayed with the most prominence, but the content is filtered and there are still elements of ‘gatekeeping’.  However with GNN the user is exposed to many stories that they may not have been informed of if they prescribed to a traditional news site, but does that make up for filtering?  There are so many choices out there for those who are seeking news and it seems impossible to think that major news outlets will not evolve and change as it competes with traditional news.

It would seem that with the advent of so many new interfaces in which to intake news that people are starting to seek out different outlets.  Nontraditional and citizen journalism are providing people with a wide variety of sources for news.  It is clear that traditional news will be forced to adapt and change to fit the new landscape of news media.  People have more options than ever and if they do not abandon popular news outlets all together they will certainly be seeking information in new places.


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