Journalism of NOW

Interactivity, transparency and collaboration – these are definitely not terms one would use to describe the news industry a few years ago, but that has changed with the advent of new technologies and social media. As consumers, we are increasingly empowered to voice out our opinions while the role of traditional journalists as gatekeepers are being challenged, maybe even threatened.

Apart from real-time updates in the form of text and pictures, applications such as Periscope (which has unsurprisingly been bought over by Twitter) and Meerkat allow instantaneous video reporting and insights to on-the-ground situations globally.

periscope_3246145b
Image 1: Periscope is a mobile live-streaming application that allows users to broadcast videos to their followers in real-time.
meerkat-android
Image 2: Meerkat is an application that allows users to broadcast live-streaming videos through their mobile devices.

Increasingly, social media giants such as Facebook and Youtube have also jumped on the bandwagon, introducing live video options. 

This has led to the rise of citizen journalism, where the power of the news agenda-setting shifts to the citizens. Consumers now have the luxury of gathering news from multiple sources. In addition, such news can provide checks and balances for news produced by major news conglomerates.

However, without any accountability, articles by citizen journalism might be simply baseless claims and news produced might show the lack of professionalism. The notion of accurate news reporting becomes questionable.

Yes, news spreads fast on social media today but that also means inaccurate news spreads fast too.

AP’s official twitter account was hacked and an inaccurate tweet was posted. The tweet was shared more than 3,000 times and caused the stock market to plunge.

 

Likewise, such journalists do not need to adhere to any ethical standards. Taking The Real Singapore for example, the couple behind the now-defunct socio-political site were arrested for sedition for apparently reporting falsified news on February 2015.

Regardless of its drawbacks, we feel that citizen journalism is an inevitable part of society today and will continue to persist, providing the public with alternative viewpoints. Therefore, whether credible or not, it is our responsibility as consumers to validate it from other news sources. Don’t be too trusting of everything you read online!

(297 words)

 

References:

Image 1: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03246/periscope_3246145b.jpg

Image 2: http://s3.amazonaws.com/digitaltrends-uploads-prod/2015/05/Meerkat-Android.jpg

Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44mScTFFRlU

Header image: https://news.usc.edu/files/2014/09/15252004085_eed4d67115_o.jpg

 

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2 thoughts on “Journalism of NOW

  1. Hello from Group 4!

    We agree that social media has played a big part in citizen journalism and this has the ability to create distrust among users due to inaccurate content.

    An example that we can learn from is last year’s hoax of Mr Lee Kwan Yew’s death. Someone posted a fake PMO announcement of his death and this news was picked up by legitimate global news sources such as CNN and CCTV. Due to the swift response of the PMO, the announcement was proven to be false. (http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/student-who-posted-fake-pmo-announcement-on-mr-lee-kuan-yews-death-given-stern-warning)

    As users, we need to be aware and cognisant that not everything online may be true, and learn to discern fact from fiction.

    Thanks for the great article!

    Like

    1. Thanks for your comment Group 4! Yep we agree that users definitely need to be able to discern what’s real and what’s not on the Internet. Your example of the hoax of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew also demonstrates another change that social media has wrought onto journalism, in that it is a lot more fast-paced and immediate now! One can only imagine the confusion that would be caused if the PMO had not swiftly debunked the hoax and let it spread to even more news outlets.

      Like

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