Citizen journalism is changing the world!


Citizen journalism is changing the world and the news agenda, the panel at this year's TFN media debate argued.

24th February 2014 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Citizen journalism can be a force for good and is enabling mainstream news sources to access an unprecedented amount of information, a conference has heard.

The TFN media debate held at the Gathering heard how citizen journalists across the world are making an impact on the way news is gathered.

Panellist Richard Hamer from Amnesty UK Scotland said it meant human rights organisations were seeing almost instant evidence of abuses across the world and that governments were being held to account like never before.

“We see it in the Ukraine currently, where the government was telling us one thing and the demonstrators another,” he said.

“But there’s no hiding from what is happening. That’s what citizen journalism gives us – the instant reality of the situation.”

Hamer joined Matt Roper, digital news editor at STV, John McLellan, director of the Scottish Newspaper Society, and Kyle Thornton, convener of the Scottish Youth Parliament.

McLellan disagreed that citizen journalism would render print publications redundant in the next few years.

“I think print is here to stay though on a far smaller scale than before,” he said. “But journalists aren’t so concerned about how their news is distributed. A good story is a good story and journalism is about finding those stories. Citizen journalists can help mainstream journalists get those stories.” 

Roper said the challenge was filtering the massive amount of information coming from different sources such as social media and blogs across the world while Thornton said it was young people who were instrumental in driving the changing face of news gathering via social media.