I’m a citizen journalist, hear me roar

Photo credit: Yan Arief Purwanto, Flickr
Photo credit: Yan Arief Purwanto, Flickr

As it turns out the 21st century is becoming more advanced with everyone being able to engage with the media and write their own stories. Technically, we all could claim to be journalists if we wanted to.

Picture this: you are first to arrive on a scene, whether it was coincidentally or you’re a dedicated stalker for a breaking news story. You’re gathering your information from interviews and observations, and then you go home and write your version on your blog. Bang! You’re what we call a citizen journalist.

These days, a degree is just a piece of paper; whether you’re a qualified journalist or an amateur, it doesn’t matter. When people develop a passion for a topic, they’re able to confidently speak and post an opinion about it.

What would you say interests you enough to research and talk about?

Blogs are becoming the favoured method of expressing an opinion because you can share content that’s relevant to your post and it’s free! WordPress and Blogger have become the preferred blogging websites, and additionally Tumblr.

How could you encourage your audience to engage in what you’re posting about?

Social Media Examiner suggests that photos increase the engagement from the audience. Whether you’re sharing photos on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, the likelihood of engagement is increased: 87% for Facebook and 35% for Twitter.

Basically, to become a citizen journalist as opposed to a traditional journalist, all you need to know is how to appropriately communicate on social media platforms. But just remember, there are still standards to adhere to as a blogger. Even though a blogger doesn’t necessarily have to follow the Code of Ethics under the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance, it’s still in your best interest to avoid defaming people and always have proof to a claim.

The majority of the population own or have access to a recording device. The rules have changed in broadcast journalism; you no longer need fancy equipment and a team to produce a news story. At the end of the day capturing your news story on a mobile phone device and publishing it, essentially means you could be a journalist.

It was once known that traditional journalists delivered news to the consumers, however, everyday people or freelance journalists can capture a news story and send their footage into the news, making qualified journalists consumers also; especially when they haven’t seen it before.

When writing a post based on opinion, you and your blog become more reputable if you have facts that link to your post. Consider including interviews from experts who are influential; this will help build your profile as a blogger.

So, after seriously considering my position as a journalist in training, I have come to the conclusion that anyone can be a journalist and all you need is a recording device, a good eye for a story and a blog to publish it.




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