YouTube presents an interesting case study to illustrate the main themes:
YouTube style content is now infecting the mainstream media news agenda
Digital convergence has led to a blurring of the boundaries between reporter and audience
Mainstream news organisations are now using ‘citizen-journalist’ sources in greater numbers
This has implications for what we say about professionalism in journalism
Media futurist Dan Gillmor predicts that by 2021, ‘citizens will produce 50 percent of the news peer-to-peer’, however mainstream news media, that we have grown up with, are yet to meaningfully adopt or experiment with these new forms.
Corporate media continue aggregation and monopoly practices
Amfeed – The Daily Me News on demand, tailored to your needs
Consumption of news is going mobile Plastic Logic, a developer of plastic electronics, has fabricated the world’s biggest flexible organic active matrix display, which consists of a flexible, high resolution, printed active matrix backplane driving an electronic paper frontplane. December 7 2005. Television or not? Video is now available to mobile phones. News is consumed ‘on the go’
Mobile TV – the next platform revolution? It’s television, but not as we (used to) know it.
“ Open source” journalism Grassroots journalism is part o the wider phenomenon of citizen-generated media—of a global conversation that is growing in strength, complexity and power. When people can express themselves, they will. When they can do so with powerful yet inexpensive tools, they take the new-media realm quickly. When they an reach a potentially global audience, they literally can change the world. Dan Gillmor, We the media (2006)
Accidental journalists – eyewitnesses with a recording device/cellphone
Amateur journalists – bloggers who cover news, do original research and expose hidden issues
Citizen journalists – Amateurs with a particular social mission in politics, etc
Pro-am – a combination of the above with a professional journalist/mentor
This is a simple project testing a single idea: Maybe a beat reporter could do a way better job if there was a “live” social network connected to the beat, made up of people who know the territory the beat covers, and want the reporting on that beat to be better. That’s the entire idea—so far. Beat reporting with a social network: can we get it to work? Can reporters bring knowledge, contacts and interests of many different people from around the beat into the production of news, views and information for the beat, by making use of social networking tools that lower the cost of collaboration? Is it viable for dispersed groups to become an editorial force?
Society can no longer afford to rely on “Big Media”
News reporting is becoming a two-way conversation—a “seminar”, not a “lecture”
“ Professional journalism’s worst enemy may be itself.” (xxvi)
Blogging and citizen journalism are in the tradition of bourgeois liberalism (eg: Thomas Paine)
American Carnival The weakening of journalistic professionalism and centrality in this rapidly transforming system not only makes lies and hoaxes more possible but also poses compelling new questions about the quality of news informing democratic society. (p.117) In such a new and still-evolving order, governed less and less by professionalism—or at least incognizant of the need for standards—it becomes far easier for objective truth and basic facts about important issues to become debatable notions in civil society and political discourse. (p.31) Neil Henry, American Carnival (2007)
PR “hucksters” take advantage and bombard us with “fake news”
Does journalism matter? Yes it does
… but it is “troubled and confused” (p.208)
The UGC manifesto We are living in an age that historians will say was characterized by the democratization of expression. Whereas the means of media production and dissemination were once concentrated in a few hands, they are now ubiquitous: everybody can be an entertainer, an educator or a pundit. We believe that this liberation of the means of production is one of the most important things to happen in recent history. It allows anyone to create the next great sitcom, to share the reality of daily life across cultural boundaries, to share political thoughts and educational materials. This is a beautiful thing, and we are dedicated to furthering this democratization in a manner that always respects intellectual property rights in a venue where everyone can feel comfortable . (Blip.tv, 2008)
Elbowing aside the media elite, YouTube wants to grab a seat at the anchor desk with a new channel dubbed "Citizen News."
With two giants in their respective fields of old media (CNN) and new (YouTube) supporting citizen journalism, the pitfalls of letting anyone report news beg to be examined.
(Carter, May 2008)
The YouTube effect Welcome to the "YouTube effect." It is the phenomenon whereby video clips, often produced by individuals acting on their own, are rapidly disseminated worldwide on websites such as YouTube and Google Video. YouTube has 34 million monthly visitors, and 65,000 new videos are posted every day. YouTube is a mixed blessing: It is now harder to know what to believe. How do we know that what we see in a video clip posted by a "citizen journalist" is not a manipulated montage? Moises Naim, LA Times , 20 December 2006
As a former journalist, I have finally realized what bothers me so much about the notion of citizen journalism. It is the veritable absence of investigative journalism. Why is it missing? Money. Pure and simple. (comment on Flip the Media blog in response to YouTube announcement) In the professional media, there is a firm code of ethics, such as preserving privacy and fairness of the point of view. Cub reporters are supposed to take a lecture about ethical issues I am concerned about the thriving of citizen media without their following a code of ethics , it will be out of control.
The observation that some videos actually reveal “truth” is the start of a trend that is changing the way journalists approach stories. Yes, a journalist might have a great clip for a story from YouTube. But the question remains: Is the story legitimate? Even though a video poster has uploaded his or her video for the world to see, the journalists still have to sift through the fact and fiction. They still have to make the phone calls and set up interviews to confirm information. Journalism for the 21 st Century blog January 2007
TV to reckon with YouTube BBC does deal to get licensed content on to YouTube On the other hand, Viacom sued Google for copyright infringement Both show that the mainstream media cannot ignore the “YouTube effect” any more
Facebook as a news source? Social networks are becoming our first port of call, replacing porn as the biggest attention-grabber on the web
Citizen journalism will forever undermine the power of the major broadcast and publishing news media
Journalism will either have to adapt or die, either way it’s a good thing
The corporates cannot afford to ignore UGC, nor let it outflank them
Instead the corporate global media giants will attempt to harness the power of social networking and UGC to enhance profits
"The journalist of the future is going to be someone who is trained from the beginning to be flexible and work in an environment that mixes digital images, sound, text and the Internet as well as traditional newspapers, magazines and television and radio broadcasts.“ Sybril Bennett, New Century Journalism, Belmont College
Now more than ever, we need professional journalists to help distinguish the wheat of reliable news and credible opinion from the chaff of information, rumor and propaganda that clogs the Internet, and to help create the next-generation vehicles for online journalism. Doug Millison, The journalist of tomorrow , 1999