Citizen journalism, being a hot trend on media circles for the past few years, is increasingly becoming relevant to the society. The fact that anyone can be a citizen journalist encourages people of all professions to engage and write. On the positive side of the flip coin, citizen journalism indeed has pros and benefits, not only for the readers, but also for the mainstream media outlets (that’s why this blog promotes it).
Citizen journalism contributes to democracy
Due to the fact that anyone can basically report, citizen journalism allowed ordinary people’s voices to be heard. Everyone can post about his own opinion about a certain issue. Online platforms have allowed netizens from across the world to engage in debates and discussions.
According to Jenny Nelson in her blog post Pros and Cons of Citizen Journalism, “The average American is getting more and more involved in the political process, thanks in part to blogging and citizen journalism.” The same is true with my experience in reading online news articles. Before, I was only able to learn about the different sides of a story from my father and some relatives who work in the government. But when online news sites such as inquirer.net and Rappler.com allowed netizens to comment on articles, I was able to see a myriad of angles about a certain story from people I don’t know. (Of course, I research rigorously before I take my stand.) Other than that, political blogs such as The Anti-Media (which is mainly comprised of citizen journalists) were born out of that freedom.