Joe Laws, currently writing for the Colchester Daily Gazette stated the controversial comments when questioned on the catastrophic impact Citizen journalists are having on the industry.
Joe Laws stated “Citizen Journalists are a great way of picking up hyperlocal stories, ones which wouldn’t be noticed by patch paper journalists otherwise. Citizen journalists are important as they can hold power to account.”
The welcoming of citizen journalists was a debatable response that was not expected. Taking in to account how the local news market has been narrowed significantly due to the increased competition, it would be expected for the reaction to be anything but supportive.
Sub-consciously we have been overwhelmed by technology; it’s our generation’s weakness. Our inadvertent involvement in today’s media is having a disastrous effect on professional Journalists and print journalism.
With newspaper sales rapidly falling, and the 10’oclock news going out of fashion, our attention is directed towards those that offer the free and immediate service. The culprits going by the name of citizen journalists have turned the media world on its head.
Despite this Mr Laws stands by his view that citizen journalists should be viewed in a positive light.
Regardless of their differences, the question is whether they can come together, combining their passion to create an innovating experience for the viewing public?
Mainstream media has been encapsulated by the threat of the amateurs. The phrase ‘see it, report it’ applies to those armed with their mobile phones allowing them to join the mass movement of roaming reporters.
Consequently, reducing the necessity for Journalists.
It’s statistically proven that in the past decade there has been an increase in blogs and amateur news, therefore reducing the amount of interest towards newspapers. The number of blogs being published has been recorded at 91.8 million new posts.
The attraction of blogs has altered the audience and drawn attention away from print journalism, resulting in over 409 million people viewing more than 22.2 billion pages each month. Contributing to Print journalism being unnecessary due to blogs providing immediate news.
Citizen journalists have the luxury of updating people about events there and then, resulting in the main broadcasters improving their online presence therefore making evening news pointless. Professional journalists must also contend with the restrictions that limit the type of stories that they can convey, consequently giving citizen journalists the edge.
The real losers of these events are the local newspapers that do not have the budget to have fully functioning websites that can separate themselves from the print journalism that they provide. Resulting in the reduction of local newspapers across the country.
However, it was because of the un-expected events of 7/7 that allowed the breakthrough for citizen journalists as they were the only ones who bared evidence and photos. Therefore allowing the professionals to have enough information to construct a detailed article for them to publish.
Citizen journalists also act as a supporting pillar for the experts as they can rely on them to comment on online articles, restoring the reasons to view their articles.
With the modernisations brought in by citizen journalists there is no room for movement for those professionals working endlessly to make their work desirable. The modern-day audience are attracted to breaking news headlines that are brought to them by citizen journalists using twitter and Facebook. Broadcasters such as the BBC and the ITV have been able to prevent this from having a knock-on effect by adapting to the changes and providing live news threads. Although citizen journalists bring some advantages to the media world they are the kryptonite of the professionals.