What’s Citizen Journalism? For Your Help


Reporting news is not only for the journalists anymore. Closing of many newspapers nationwide has actually left vacuum in the news coverage that daily people are stepping to fill. Result is the diverse range of blogs and web sites that serve as the information center for a lot of communities. Term for such trend is the citizen journalism, and this is the major component of the “hyperlocal” news reporting. What was earlier the job only for journalists who were employed by the news agency now has made their way in hands of normal public who don’t have any formal journalism background. Lots of people are contributing by uploading photos, writing stories, and submitting other events. And this phenomenon has been picked up by the major media outlets, make sure you follow the official source.

Cover Different News

There are many different ways that the trend has improved the local news reporting. For instance, many hyperlocal websites that make use of citizen journalists cover the small events, which are not in mainstream press anymore. Also, the citizen-journalists can cover many more events as well as profile the larger assortment of happenings as there are not many reporters to get around – particularly with all layoffs & newspaper closures in the last year. Thus, with many smartphones lots of people are well equipped to share their content. The news websites are making the wider use of the user-generated content, particularly during the natural disasters and other breaking events.

Must Have Formal Training

There’re a few compromises to such shift in the news coverage. Whereas news organizations normally take aims to make sure that there are the minimal conflicts between the writers & subjects, and no such boundaries and rules exist for the citizen journalists. Bottom line is regular citizens generally did not get any kind of formal journalistic training – thus some details or news copy may be a little rough. There are many sources daily that will contribute to the hyperlocal sites, so it is tough to verify if that information is right or not. It’s a dilemma with the user-generated content. This creates the sense of community in the users, however it means most of the information will be suspect. Whereas overall majority of the content, which appears at these websites is highly accurate, as the reader it will definitely be worth to look at it with the critical eye.


In spite of all concerns this trend toward citizen journalism is increasingly growing. Many news websites are accepting the amateur content or other websites are building the whole platform over it.

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