Unlike shows on TV or radio and print, people that use the internet do not need to send something to the giants of media to distribute it and pass it on to an audience, instead they distribute it themselves even if its through a personal YouTube account or through a personal blog etc. There are various ways to pass their work or opinion to a wider audience and that is through the Internet.
With user generated content online there are no boundaries on the space that it can take. (Bradshaw, 2010)
The issue with User Generated Content is trust. The question nowadays though is not if we trust the people running the website but whether we trust the people that are on it, people like us. The difference is that “content is being generated” by anybody who wants to and then being evaluated by anyone. If we take EBay for example, we trust the website but we don’t really trust the people who are selling products on it. Wikipedia is a prime example as well as there are a lot of false information on it since that information is being taken through websites that we don’t know if they are reliable.
Due to the improvement of technology and science, the world is facing an information revolution. Citizen journalists are normal people who are not employed or trained as professional journalists for a living to create and pass on news, videos and photos etc. The idea of citizen journalism is that everybody can become one and everybody can get involved and pass on their opinions.
The debate is whether user generated content is affecting news and journalism. Does it?
Effie Moor Salem states that “Citizen journalism is making an impact on the publishing industry. It is the latest most talked about news media change to hit the editors desks. Some editors love it, some hate it but all admit it is here to stay. Why is that? Citizen journalism has proven itself to be an effective part of news reporting and an asset to journalists and editors. When news breaks not everyone that should be there, is there. Television and the internet needs to get involved immediately.” (Effie M.S, 2009)
Effie, M.S (2009) “Effects on media journalism on mainstream media” [online] available here: http://www.helium.com/items/1580208-effects-of-citizen-journalism-on-mainstream-media (last accessed May 10th 2012)
Bradshaw, P (2010) “ What is user-generated content?” [online] available here: http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2010/01/15/what-is-user-generated-content/ (last accessed May 10th 2012)