In Political Observatories, Databases, and News in the Emerging Ecology of Public Information, Michael Schudson writes that in the last century, “American journalism was failing to serve the needs of modern democracy–and that it would continue to fail without help from forces beyond itself,” one reason being publications by untrained journalists. The Internet has allowed anyone to become a journalist and publish his or her thoughts regardless of experience or education; making some professional journalisms view this as a threat. However, the journalism industry should view this as an opportunity rather than a threat. As Fernando Perez puts it, “It is thus possible to create a relationship that benefits both parties. On the one hand, the newspaper is enriched by different perspectives on local subjects, close to their public; on the other, this citizen journalism becomes of greater relevance and scope, more than just a blog.” Unlike digital activism, it is more about quality than quantity; the ones with the true quality reporting will stand out. Citizen journalism also allows professional journalists to gain perspectives or leads on local stories that they would have normally missed. Citizen journalism also creates higher standards for professional journalism. Unfortunately, because anything can be published online, the chances of false information being spread is very likely, forcing professionals to make sure they have reliable sources if they want to stay above citizen journalism. Unprofessional journalism also tends to blur the line between factual reporting and opinion, thus even further pushing professionals to follow ethics codes by being unbiased. Similar to the free market, citizen journalism is a natural part of the evolving digital world and in order for professional journalism organization continue to exist, they need to come up with better quality to beat the competition.
Perez, Fernando. “Citizen Journalism, an Opportunity Rather than a Threat.” Www.protecmedia.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
Schudson, Michael. “Political Observatories, Databases & News in the Emerging Ecology of Public Information.” MIT Press Journals – Daedalus – 139(2):100 – PDF. N.p., 2010. Web. <http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/daed.2010.139.2.100>.