Watch The Gate.

Citizen Journalism

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.


7 thoughts on “Watch The Gate.

  1. First of all your meme is amazing! You have effectively captured what it is like when we are so connected to the word via social media when drastic situations occur. Social media is allowing us to have a voice and participate in news stories or any other sort of stories by offering a helping hand to journalists by offering feedback and additional information. Citizen journalists have many positives it allows for faster responses and engagement with what has just happened. As made evident in your example of the Boston Bombing, as news corporations were unable to get to the scene fast enough, the news events unfolded by citizens on reddit. However, though there are many advantages of citizens as journalist there are also many negatives that follow along side it, as made evident in this article

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  2. Love your meme! It’s crazy to think that even without words on it we all understand 100% because i’m sure we’ve all been in a similar situation! Your reflection on this week’s topic was very well rounded and you mentioned the short feedback loop that we have from user interaction and that was spot on! Reading your post I began to wonder at what point did we become the gatekeepers? How did we all just merge into the role that was reserved for larger organisations and people of authority? We didn’t necessarily fight for this position; we were handed it when we social media became like second nature to us. Somehow, we became the ones with authority and had to power to disseminate information that interests us-this too accommodates for the long tail. You touched on a great point with the example of the Boston Bombings and Reddit, I feel like you could have elaborated more on this example. With the bombings, users generated videos, content, opinions, they even had a ‘who dunnit’ guessing game to find the bomber. Like you said, Reddit knew about it before the legacy media knew. This creates a sort of two tier gate watching model where the Reddit users up voted or down voted the content and the news outlets then chose from that selection. Read more about this here:
    Overall, I really enjoyed your blog post!

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  3. Your meme was really well constructed and encapsulates the topic nicely. You have covered the topic of gatewatches thoroughly with reference to the impact on print media journalism. Your example of Reddit and the Boston Bombings was great, it’s crazy how it takes that much longer for this news to reach mainstream news sources. For further examples, here shows the 9 breaking news tweets that changed twitter forever:

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  4. Great post! You are so right about the audience becoming the driving force between the audience and the event. We package our own news, and seek out and share what we feel is newsworthy and/or enjoy. We no longer require the legacy media to ‘package’ information and sell it to us, the placing of value has changed. As this paradigm has been shifting over the past several years, it puzzles me that the legacy media continues to resist this technological change. It needs to develop now if it plans to compete with the prosumer! Here’s an article I found which discusses the mistakes and lack of reaction which are causing the downfall of the legacy media:
    – Claire

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  5. The example you provided regarding the use of Reddit in the Boston Bombings was very useful in highlighting the importance of users in social media sharing information quickly. It would have been good to possibly look more at this example and what type of things users were posting etc. I really enjoyed your meme haha, people criticise the excessive use of our mobile phones, in which we record everything, but it is evident at tragedies such as the Boston Bombings, that this information is very useful in the scheme of citizen journalism and gathering current and firsthand information. Here is an article describing how reddit users have also helped out by sharing information on the site in relation to the disappearance of a girl in America-


  6. Quite the interesting read. When you think about it, it is insane how almost anyone can take their phone out and capture anything that happens in an instant. Also I haven’t seen that meme used before so bonus points for you.


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