The new media universe
Citizen journalism – a definition
Media produced by the former consumers of
media, otherwise known as “the people
formerly known as the audience.”
Jay Rosen, professor of journalism at New York
• Jay Rosen spells it out
Social media – a real time snapshot
• Social media counter
Iran – students used Twitter and Youtube to publicise their protest to the
world during the Iranian elections last year
Citizen journalism – Arianna
• Founder of influential US blog the Huffington
Citizen journalism – a force for
democracy and good?
Has the internet made the media more democratic?
Should everyone have their say, including racists,
homophobes and political dictators?
The world is not (yet) Twitter-shaped...
• Just 10% of Twitter users generate more than
90% of the content. Most of the users are
men. (Harvard study of 300,000 users, 2009)
• 62% of Twitter users are in the US, followed by
Britain and Canada. (Sysomos survey, 2010)
Do citizen journalists need to be
Citizen journalism – the big questions
• Who checks the facts? Wikipedia watch out!
• Who knows what a ‘story’ is? And does this
• Who checks the quality of the writing, the
spelling, the grammar and the punctuation
before it goes into the world?
• Who can ensure that quality information
rather than lies or rumours are produced?
Social media: impact on old media
• “Once the users take control, they never give
it back.” Dave Winer, one of the founders of
• Is this a viable scenario for the future? Will we
see the death of ‘professional’ journalism?
• “You don’t own the press, which is now
divided into pro and amateur zones. You don’t
control the production on the new platform,
which isn’t one way. There’s a new balance of
power between you and us.” Jay Rosen
The new media world: the people
formerly known as the audience hold
journalists to account...
Last year, Daily Mail reporter Jan Moir wrote an
article linking the "strange and lonely death" of
Boyzone star Stephen Gately to the fact that he was
By 3pm on the day the article attracted more than 500 comments on the Mail
website. Moir’s article provoked a storm of protest led by veteran Tweeter
Stephen Fry and others on Facebook, leading to thousands of complaints to
the Press Complaints Commission.
Old media gets in on the act
• Facebook and Twitter are two digital platforms
where anyone can publish news whenever
they want, without any editorial control.
Facebook alone has five million members.
• ‘Old’ media organisations are keen to use
these ‘new’ media to reach and find new
audiences and source news
Old media uses new media to get
• Ruth Barnett, Twitter correspondent for Sky
News explains her job
Old media harnesses citizen journalists
to do the journalism for them...
• Teeside Evening Gazette has 22 ‘local’ news
sites with around 400 registered contributor
• Brighton Argus even has an allotment
correspondent ‘our man in our shed’
• The Guardian was the first national newspaper
to harness the power of bloggers with the site
Comment is Free
• But the vast majority of citizen journalists
including bloggers don’t make money!
Old v new media: the path does not
always run smooth!
• Andrew Marr lets rip on citizen journalists at
the Cheltenham Literature Festival last month
Fair comment or deranged rant? Asked Tory
blogger Iain Dale...
“My goodness! Just how out of touch is he?
Where's he been?”
• “They hate us because some bloggers do more
work on stories than they do. They hate us
because we don't cosy up to the liberal elite.
They hate us because we can say things they
cannot. And they cannot tell the truth or
report the facts because they have to follow
the "line". Wrinkled Weasel
• “And proper journalists like Richard Littlejohn
don't write angry articles ranting about
everything and anything? I thought it was also
well known that journalists of Fleet St were
always drunk in the afternoons.
The last word?
“Andrew Marr’s underestimation of the
blogosphere reveals the old guard’s inherent
fear of new communications.”
Blogger Brett Gerry
• Read the full debate at: