A transformation is evident in today’s modality of communication and function of information. A more distributed media model has been adopted since the rise of the internet which allows the ability for the newly proclaimed ‘prosumer‘ (that’s us) to create content and to publish that content on a global platform, for free. The notion of legacy media, which is packaged accordingly to the assembly line model of commodity production and distribution has begun to fade, turning the once passive audience into an active one.
This instigates the concept of ‘Citizen Journalism’, which is when private individuals do what professional reporters do; collect, report and analyze content. We ultimately have media sharing circuits at the touch of a finger and can easily distribute content becoming the driven force between the audience and event. We are all Gatewatchers, where filtering, a strong vector of control and the idea of ‘content as a product’ is gone.
Social media can be recognized as a catalyst in this new form of content aggregation and many-to-many distribution system. Users interact to the information being shared, which provides us immediate gratification through a short feedback loop where each and every node participates. An example can be highlighted by the role of Reddit during the recent tragedy of the Boston Bombings, where the use of this platform was able to circulate information quick and efficiently before major legacy input was evident.