Citizen journalism can be defined as a “contemporary form of journalism where editorial content is distributed via the Internet as opposed to publishing via print or broadcast”.
Why is citizen journalism crucial to social media?
Without citizen journalism individuals would never hear the ‘full’ story. The public would constantly be fed filtered information by legacy media outlets. This is defined as the Gatekeeping theory. Gate keeping content is defined as the filtration of content, where persons working for legacy media outlets categorise what they believe to be media, news and unimportant information.
This can be dangerous due to “gatekeeping holding an influence on policies and procedures, playing the role of a watchdog within society or simply playing into the audience’s confirmation bias“. Resulting in bias within legacy media, this is why citizen journalism and a distributed network is important online. Having citizen journalists as well as distributed network online, allows for more information to flow freely to the public, without the risk of getting censored.
If you would like to learn more about the gatekeeping theory click here.