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!