Journalism is constantly struggling to retain the confidence of audiences and a positive reputation. To do this requires adaptation to contemporary needs and demands of media consumers. These changes are a natural progression brought about by our multi-media age where people are heavily involved in the media world with their comments, uploading photos and video clips. They are no longer just passive observers, but have the opportunity to be active creators and critics.
Citizen journalism is the dissemination of information by people who are not professional journalists. Citizen reporters do not do this kind of journalism because it is their job, but rather because they believe it is their civil duty. Citizen journalism is the basis of democracy that encourages citizens to actively participate in social processes.
The development of information and communication technologies, especially the Internet, has led to the emergence of citizen journalism, which means the active role of citizens in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information. All citizens create and distribute them with the help of smart phones, the Internet, computer, etc. Digital technology has made citizen journalism universally accessible and globally relevant, while making it an important part of the content within the traditional media – both public and commercial that has helped to create a more real and objective view of the world.
But what does this mean for traditional channels of media. When we look at the mass media, they are now mostly privately owned, and their main guide is profit. On the one hand, the media is financed by advertising and, therefore, advertisers and other factors often end up influencing the editorial policy. The development of technology has in many ways changed how mass media is consumed by society. The emergence of the Internet and social networking sites have allowed media conglomerates to expand their exposure and immediately receive feedback from readers, while also being challenged and fuelled by citizen journalists. Although citizen journalism in some cases is dismissed as unnecessary and amateur, big media companies have no choice but to respect and in most cases, incorporate it.