News that masquerades as citizen journalism

With citizen journalism reigning as one of the primary sources of information, more and more news organizations are reporting information and portraying it as “rough cut.” More and more, they are including citizen videos and photos from onlookers. Many news channels incorporate Twitter segments and Facebook feeds into their live broadcasts.

Now, perhaps they are running short on funds and need to use the citizen news (highly unlikely for CNN and Fox, but who knows?). Perhaps big news companies really do think that the rough footage they are getting is more sincere than other footage. We have certainly seen examples of this dating back to the Vietnam war, when journalists were first embedded with the troops; since then, news corps have used shaky cam footage to get viewers.

However, at this point in time, I would argue that news organizations are using citizen journalists’ footage and information in order to get in on a trend. These companies find social media (including the Twitter, Facebook and blogs of the world) and citizen news style to be a trend that they can make bank cashing in on. In the past, these big news conglomerates thought citizen journalism was encroaching on their territory, but now the tables have turned. Real news needs to stop masquerading as citizen journalism.

Most recently, companies such as the UK Guardian have used a blog style to make their updates from the G20 Summit seem more current. They even have a notice on their page that reads: “This page will update every minute.”

There are enough bloggers out there in the world and the real journalists, as in the journalistic self-proclaimed news corporations, should stick to article writing, not blogging.

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