Giving the Citizen Journalist their 15 minutes of fame

By Nicole Gardner

December 5, 2012

In today’s hyper tech world, one of the fastest moving modes of communication has come to rest on the shoulders of social media.  Websites like Twitter and Facebook and even Youtube are making information and first-hand accounts more accessible to the public, including news stations and newspapers. Worldwide news providers like CNN have started to turn some viewers into reporters of life changing events happening right in front of them. The station has even deemed these brave civilians, “iReporters”. With the capability of social networking websites becoming more and more attainable and with new technologies coming out every day it’s no surprise that most videos that are shown on most news channels are found on the internet and are uploaded by individuals caught in the action. For years now Citizen Journalists have been under scrutiny from professional journalists, because some are covering stories before them and sometimes even right alongside them, and because they may or may not have formal training to report on an event to the highest possible caliber that reporters do. But what if they do and they just haven’t found a job yet? What if these citizen journalists those real reporters seem to disdain so much cover angles that a reporter had yet to even consider? What if a citizen journalist has the potential to become a real journalist, but doesn’t have the monetary means to become properly educated? Thanks to websites like Blottr and Wikinews, citizen journalists have actual websites besides their blogs and Twitter and Facebook’s to post current news in their areas. While some of their skills may not be as good as the professionals, they still have forums to put amateur work on to so that on the off chance their work can to be seen by possible job recruiters.   While some journalists may not like the new “norm” of what citizen journalists are becoming to the world of media and reporting, they don’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon.