Citizen Journalists can be anyone, anyone with any equipment necessary to record events as they transpire, be it a Digital camera used the night before for a friends birthday, or a person recording videos of his friends on his mobile phone, these people are able to photograph disasters and incidents as they occur all over the globe, meaning that they more than likely already have the photograph that a journalist would want to get
Citizen journalists generally do not have any form of actual of professional journalistic training when it comes to their documentation of facts, in actual fact; citizen journalists are just people who happened to be in the area at that specific moment who had something that could record images or videos, although, events can be skewed, or shifted depending on the photographers own view point, via image manipulation, leading to a lack of trust with photographers because of stereotyping because of people making images bias or faking them in favour of sensationalising a story.
The equipment that we all use to photograph people or disasters, mixed with the equipment that we use to find out information, talk to our friends over vast distances and travel to far and distant places in a matter of days rather than weeks or months, has meant that the world we live in seems an awful lot smaller because of the ease and speed at which information and photographs can go from one corner of the earth to the other.
The two points stated previously are the two major reasons why the traditional newspaper is becoming redundant in the 21st century, the first reason is because, whilst originally images and the news could only be viewed in print format from newspapers and magazines, usually a day after the actual event has taken place, however, in modern times, photographs and up to date news feeds are everywhere on the internet, allowing people to find information wherever they may be.
Secondly, however good or quick a photographer is, and however quickly he can get to the scene which his editor has sent him to, a person at the scene will definitely had some mode of recording equipment, meaning that big newspapers don’t need to hire as many people to photograph current news stories as they can simply pay a citizen journalist for his or her photograph rather than paying a salary to a photographer who might not as good a shot.
Although citizen journalists can be extremely useful in terms of paying very little for good photographs, they very rarely have any training in terms of what they can and cannot take photographs of when they are photographing subject matters, for example photographing someone whilst on private property, meaning that citizen journalists are; good for getting photographs that might not nescessarily have been available from a paid photographer, they are quite likely to possibly get arrested or sued because of their lack of knowledge of the law.
Whilst internet based newspapers are a very intelligent way forward for global media, it also means that whilst newspapers become less necessary, meaning that people wont need to carry around cumbersome sheets of paper, this means that there will be far fewer employed photographers, causing newspapers to pay out more money in terms of single photos than they would for paying a photographers salary.
In his book, ‘The British Press’, author Mick Temple (2008) asks ‘Are we all Journalists now?’ saying that ‘Technological developments such as blogging have led to the widespread belief that ‘we are all journalists now’, which shows that people everywhere are realising that the days when only a journalist or photographer could show or tell people what they thought, are indeed over.
W. Russell Numan in his book ‘The future of the mass audience’ (2001) says “What are we to make of this technical……..participation, education and communication.”
Telling people of how, with the new introduction of media into journalism and everyday life, feeling that it gives us an unprecedented ability to participate, educate and communicate with one another no matter our location on the planet, lending itself to an earlier point made in this essay about the world ‘shrinking’.
Although, Numan does suggest that the ease of use of technology could possibly pose a risk to our privacy, which is quite possible, and can be related back to an earlier point made concerning a Citizen journalists lack of knowledge of the law, meaning that he may take photographs inside a place where it is illegal, or they could take a photograph inside private property, meaning that it is in fact an illegally taken photograph.
In conclusion, having looked at journalism in the 21st century and how it is different compared to earlier photojournalism, I can see how much the internet and current technological advances are changing the way that journalism is done in the 21st century, and although there are numerous advancements with the exchange of information in this decade, this also means that regular journalists are becoming redundant because of a lack of need.
Temple, M. (2008), The British Press, Maidenhead, Open University Press, page number 212
Neuman W. R, Thefuture of the mass audience, The Pitt building Cambridge, press syndicate of the university of Cambridge, page number 164