Citizen Journalism Can Save Lives

Most of the time, professionals in any subjected area can be stubborn because they think they are the best at their jobs. Of course, they were hired for a reason, but that doesn’t mean that other people out there can’t get their job done just as well, and if not, better. Today, citizen journalism is one of the easiest ways to communicate with the world, and sometimes we don’t always need professional writers or bloggers to let us know about important information or critical news. While citizen journalists complete information given by journalists, they do it for free and create content based on where the breaking news is for free.

For example, on Septemeber 11, 2001, the Twin Towers in New York City were completely destructred when two hijacked planes came crashing into them, killing over 2,000 innocent people. Thanks to the help of citizen journalists, the world was able to be constantly informed about this tragic event. (Click to second video to view)

Although this video wasn’t posted until ten years later, it still helps to uncover any missing pieces of the story and create less unanswered questions. This video is an example of mobile journalism as well beause the guy took out his phone and was reporting what he saw and what he heard as the sequence of events were unraveling.

9/11 started the rise of citizen journalism and the digital age. Thanks to average citizens and locals, they were able to reach out to a huge audience and be their income source of news, informations, and updates besides the traditional media, if they were even able to report it. Citizen journalists’ information is incredibly essential in a time like this because with phones and social media everywhere, information can travel instantaneously and give updates that wouldn’t be given otherwise. The power of the people is important, because you never know what someone is capable of and for all we know, the citizen journalists from this terrorist attack could have saved lives.

Citizen journalism was and continues to be a way for people to connect and collect information that would not have been shared otherwise. Although the Internet wasn’t as powerful then as it is now, people still made the effort to quickly warn loved ones and others about this horrifying day that went down in history.

Check out this post written by jamiespud. He wrote a case study about 9/11 and the online revolution and again, although this was written years after the event, it shows how powerful and crucial citizen journalist’s information can be.

It’s easy for anyone to become one as long as they pay attention to the five principles as learned in class:

  1. Pay attention to details
  2. Be precise
  3. Compare your information to make sure it is accurate
  4. Make sure readers know that you are only a link to the credited sources of information
  5. Be independent

With these key principles, a citizen journalist will succeed, especially in times like September 11. Thanks to the information, videos, pictures, and stories they have provided, the world is able to be more clear on what really happened on such an unforgettable day.


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