The Disadvantage of Citizen Journalism
Introduction: Citizen journalism refers to the practice of non-professional individuals reporting news and events through various forms of media, including social media, blogs, and videos. While citizen journalism has the potential to democratize the media and provide a diversity of perspectives, there are also significant disadvantages and risks associated with this practice. This article explores some of the disadvantages of citizen journalism.
One of the key disadvantages of citizen journalism is the lack of professional training and journalistic standards. Professional journalists are trained to verify information, fact-check sources, and adhere to ethical guidelines, but citizen journalists often lack this training and may not have a clear understanding of the importance of accuracy and truthfulness. As a result, citizen journalism can be prone to misinformation, rumors, and biased reporting. According to a study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, only 24% of news shared on Twitter during the 2016 US election was accurate (Newman et al., 2017). This highlights the risks of relying on unverified citizen journalism for news and information.
Another disadvantage of citizen journalismhttps://study.com/academy/lesson/citizen-journalism-advantages-disadvantages.html is the potential for harm to individuals and communities. Citizen journalists may not have the same level of sensitivity and ethical considerations as professional journalists, and may inadvertently cause harm to individuals by sharing private information or sensationalizing events. In addition, citizen journalism can perpetuate stereotypes and biases, particularly if the individuals reporting are not representative of the diversity of the community. According to a study by the American Press Institute, citizen journalists may be more likely to report on crime and disaster, which can reinforce negative stereotypes about certain communities (AP, 2016).
The issue of accountability is also a disadvantage of citizen journalism. Professional journalists are accountable to their audience, their employers, and to the ethical standards of the profession, but citizen journalists may not have the same level of accountability. This can lead to a lack of transparency and credibility, as well as difficulty in addressing mistakes or inaccuracies. In addition, the anonymity of some citizen journalists can make it difficult to verify their credibility and sources.
Finally, the issue of legal and ethical considerations is a disadvantage of citizen journalism. Citizen journalists may not have a clear understanding of the legal and ethical implications of their reporting, and may inadvertently violate privacy laws or ethical guidelines. In addition, the lack of institutional support for citizen journalists can make it difficult for them to navigate legal and ethical issues, and to access resources such as legal counsel or training.
In conclusion, while citizen journalism has the potential to democratize the media and provide a diversity of perspectives, there are also significant disadvantages and risks associated with this practice. These disadvantages include the lack of professional training and journalistic standards, the potential for harm to individuals and communities, the issue of accountability, and legal and ethical considerations.
American Press Institute. (2016). Understanding Citizen Journalism. https://www.americanpressinstitute.org/publications/reports/survey- research/understanding-citizen-journalism/
Newman, N., Fletcher, R., Kalogeropoulos, A., Levy, D. A. L., & Nielsen, R. K. (2017). Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2017. Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/risj-review/reuters-institute-digital-news-report-2017
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. (2016). Trust and News Media in a Digital Age. Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Digital%20News%20Report%202016%20Final%20PDF_0.pdf