Cyclone Debbie & Citizen Journalism

Just last week our news and social media feeds were flooded with information about Cyclone Debbie. Twitter was an imperative platform for media dispersion – due to its instantaneous nature and ease of accessibility. The hashtag: #cyclonedebbie was used to spread live updates and keep the public informed of the events as they unfolded.


However, it is not just traditional journalists using this platform, but instead ordinary people that are operating a new way of spreading information, which brings to light the notion of “Citizen Journalism”. Below are some examples of tweets about the cyclone that came from your average twitter users.


According to Murthy, “in terms of audiences, terse updates on social media and social networking websites have produced new audience configuration”. The dialogic nature of the internet has meant that your everyday working class man can produce informative content – without the presence of gatekeepers. The implications of this phenomenon are still being discovered.

I’ll leave you with my attempt at an awful meme: but perhaps a also chance to make you think about the reliability of citizen journalism and how we may actually benefit from gatekeepers!

Featured Image: “Flinders East Roundabout” by Rob and Stephanie Levy, licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Published by susiealdermann

Fifth Year Bachelor of Communications and Media/ Bachelor of International Studies (Dean's Scholar) student

7 thoughts on “Cyclone Debbie & Citizen Journalism

  1. Twitter is a great example about how people can stay informed and be kept up to date on current news. By using the same hashtag, millions can post about an event that the mainstream media does not publish. Because so many people have a Twitter account and can look at the “trending now” section and see what is happening around the world. Citizen journalism is seen on every social media site whether the user knows they are posting about journalistic information or not–it is still spread worldwide.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re absolutely right about Twitter. While it is not our typical idea of a “meme”, it can certainly be used in the same way, that is, to influence an audience through visual medium


  2. Hey,
    I really liked the example you used in this post as its update with whats happening in the world right now so easier to relate/understand whats going on. Twitter is always such a great example to use as so many people use it and hash-tagging is such a good way to get a community of people together. It would be cool if you could find another example where citizen journalism took place that wasn’t twitter though? Overall I really liked this post and the pictures and video at the end really helped break it up.
    Fi 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for your feedback, and without a doubt there are many other examples of where citizen journalism has taken place. Another thing that contributes to the success of twitter is that it is instantaneous in nature, which I think is so important in our evolving methods of journalism!


  3. Hey, this was a great way of showing Citizen Journalism through the use of Twitter. Social platforms such as Twitter or Facebook really demonstrate that citizen journalism is present in our every day lives, especially with things such as Cyclone Debbie that effected so many people meaning we got a lot of first hand stories to know what is really happening. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Suzie! I love how your blog post was written at the perfect time about something relevant in the news. Twitter has definitely become one of the biggest ways in which people are documenting live news in the media now. I definitely appreciate your meme, by the way! I love it. Good job, and keep it up! Very engaging, and clever.

    Liked by 1 person

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