A while back, I wrote about Citizen Journalism, and its prevalence during the natural disaster of Cyclone Debbie. Increasingly, we are seeing everyday members of society taking to social media to report a first hand account of the world around us – and increasingly we, as media consumers, are turning to this as a source of information.
However it is interesting to consider the ethical concerns associated with this phenomenon. While journalists have traditionally held a mixed reputation with regard to their truth and accuracy, Mahoney argues that now, “any idiot with a Twitter account can spray wild claims all over the world with no accountability”, and that “there are too many unaccountable monkeys with typewriters”.
So how worried should we really be about citizen journalism? In my opinion, this phenomenon is completely irreversible, and it is up to us as consumers and producers media to carefully observe and “fact check” the news stories we are presented with. But this is much harder than it sounds, and to be honest, for an often busy, complacent, and blasé student like myself, this already sounds pretty difficult.