You’ve likely seen it as you scroll through your social media feeds, and you may have even posted its content yourself; citizen journalism is an extremely efficient and important method of sharing news and information today. Many people first hear word of events and breaking news through virally shared posts.
But what is citizen journalism?
Citizen journalism, a type of user-generated content, happens when nonprofessional journalists – anyone from a social media influencer with thousands of followers to your elderly next-door neighbor who only just figured out how to “like” and “share” content – produce and disseminate “journalistic knowledge” to the general public, often through a social media platform or similar channel. This act of regular people posting opinions or sharing articles to educate others on the internet about issues and even events has grown steadily more common as more social media platforms and websites that allow easy and quick uploads of photos and written content have allowed the dissemination of information to become more widely available and more easily spread.