“Citizen journalism” and “meta journalism” are two new terms that reflect the reality that the public has now become a major player in the news game, turning media into a democracy, not a corporate strategy.
Traditionally news made its way from event to the reader through a journalist or news organization. The news organization or journalist controlled the information--what was written, when it appeared, and who was quoted. In some instances, the traditional 5 W’s of news--who, what, where, when and why--were influenced by corporate agendas that had nothing to do with the news.
Social media has put the control in the hands of the public, making media more democratic that ever before. Information is tweeted, shared, and linked by individuals without a corporate agenda. News outlets still have a presence, but they no longer have control over the story.
In the hands of citizen journalists, the news is reaching further than ever before. Canadians have the highest social media network penetration in the world: 82% of Canadians use a social network (1).
In the last federal election, Canadians used social media and hashtags to get news on election results, even convince people to get out and vote. The October 24 shooting at Ottawa’s National War Memorial was broadcast on social media. The Boston bombers were tracked through the city by citizens who not only shared the news, but alerted police to sightings of the suspects, all long before the morning paper hit the streets.
Learn more about citizen journalism at http://nms.sagepub.com/content/11/8/1287.abstract