I always had a niggling suspicion that traditional media forms, that is television, newspapers, and radio, were the shady middleman dictating what we view, read and know of current events and news. How do we know what they are telling us is true? How do we know it’s accurate? What makes their news more credible than a tweet or a YouTube clip from an event? The news we get from television, for example, has been investigated, observed from afar and edited to conform with airing and government guidelines. Not only that, but it could also have bias from the reporter, or view of the network airing the news. Eventually the news may become distorted.
Meanwhile, Twitter, YouTube etc have no restrictions to what is aired (as long as it complies with copyright laws). This allows those “living the event” to provide viewers with accurate accounts of events in real time without filtering and from a primary source. We as prosumers are able to compare traditional news sources with the endless possibilities the internet provides us and draw our own conclusions from it. By doing this, we are cutting out the middleman, the gatekeepers.
Citizen journalism gives us the power to become active in the news process. Platforms like YouTube give us the opportunity to post the event and places like Reddit or Twitter give us the power to distribute the news immediately. Whether people watch or read is up to them in this attention economy.