The growth in today’s Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram led world has provided a platform for the public to publish their own news; citizen journalism.
Unlike traditional journalists, the public are under no obligation to adhere to the moral and ethical rules of a higher news corporation.
Mobile phones allow anyone to photograph, record and write content to publish online. They give a platform for news to be spread globally by citizens that traditional journalists may not have. Traditional journalists often have to have their content checked and edited before release.
Citizen journalism allows members of the public to be ‘gatekeepers’ of the news in some ways; there is almost complete freedom in whatever content they choose to post, providing potential for fake news to be spread quickly.
Citizen journalism also breaks down the ‘gatekeeping theory’ as there is no filter (gate) upon the news that is published.
Twitter’s use of ‘trending hashtags’ is an example of how the number of views that relevant tweets get can be swiftly multiplied through likes and retweets. This often proves dangerous in the case of the dispersion of ‘fake news’.
Earlier this year an incorrect tweet saying that the Harry Potter movies were coming to UK’s Netflix spread:
Still haven’t quite recovered from the fact the Harry Potter films aren’t coming to Netflix UK after all😢💔
— hattie (@hattie_willett) November 5, 2018
Just found out the Harry Potter movies aren't coming to UK Netflix, feeling hurt AND betrayed
— Ejaan. (@Ejzz_) November 4, 2018
The question however remains; do people trust citizen journalism, unsupported by money-making news corporations, or do they trust the safety of news outlets, in assumption that they refrain from producing fictitious content?