TWITTER- citizen journalism: more harm than good?

As conventional blogging’s easier, faster, and more immediately accessible cousin
, Twitter offers one of the best opportunities for citizen journalism. But according to a 2011 analysis, only 17% of the total tweets posted about events contained situational awareness information that was credible.

There’s less accountability with citizen journalism- traditional media can control the message, while social media is a ”free-for-all”. Some say this is a positive characteristic, but there are drawbacks, mainly issues of objectivity, balance and fairness. Many citizen journalists write from their own experiences rather than seeing themselves as conduits of information in the public interest.

In order to recognise the power of social media, mainstream and citizen journalism should collaborate to meet the needs of their audiences. However, traditional media must consider the risks of using material from citizen journalists without verification. One inaccurate story can be picked up and circulated worldwide in minutes, which is all it takes to further damage the reputation of traditional journalists. On the other hand, citizen journalists have proven to be helpful as a means of on-the-ground reporting, especially when they’re first at the scene. The key is for “real” journalists to decide to what extent they wish to be influenced by external information providers.

“Traditional journalism is the outside looking in. Citizen journalism is the inside looking out. In order to get the complete story, it helps to have both points of view.” – Peter Dooley

#citizen #journalism #traditional #media


Barnes, C. (2012). Caribbean Quarterly. Citizen journalism vs. Traditional Journalism: A Case for Collaboration, vol. 58, issue 2/3, pp. 16-27, 179. Retrieved from:

Blaagaard, B., B. (2013). SAGE. Shifting boundaries: Objectivity, citizen journalism and tomorrow’s journalists. Retrieved from:

Gupta, A., & Kumaraguru, P. (2012). ACM Digital Library. Credibility ranking of tweets during high impact events. Retrieved from:

Safko, L. (2012). Thumbs Up for Microblogging. Social Media Bible : Tactics, Tools, and Strategies for Business Success, 3rd Ed. (pp. 289-316). Retrieved from:


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