When Concorde went down in flames, a truck driver’s wife shot it on her video camera. It is the only shot available of the event, which proved vital for investigators!
The lady would not have known that she would be considered as a Citizen Journalist in today’s day and time. Being there at the right place at the right time, with the right equipment to capture the event is what, citizen journalism is all about. If you have a Mobile with a good camera, and you happened to be at the right place when an event unfolded, you could make a quick buck by selling the video to news channels. A rainy day, a traffic jam, a bad accident, a group of youngsters creating ruckus everything is captured and put down as reports. A blinking light for instance could be considered to be UFO and can make big news.
Alive is one of the apps which makes sharing stills easy. Newspapers carry images taken by someone using the app everyday. Not surprisingly, it is popular amongst youngsters who champion themselves to be Citizen Journalists. As events unfold, people report it via twitter, facebook and other Social Media. Citizen Journalists in some way or the other are undermining professional journalists. But then Journalists are trying to use the strength of CJs to their advantage. New issues are being reported by such people around the world. Issues which were never taken up by the professionals, because they didn’t know about them or considered them to be news worthy are now available on social media. Yet with 100s of views and multiple comments, these items show that there are readers available for different types of news.
I consider Citizen Journalism to be cool, do you?