The new participatory culture of the World Wide Web allows for more people to become involved in the collation and distribution of information. Under the name of “Civilian Journalism” we see people retweeting breaking news, blogging their opinions and updating savvy statuses. And more and more people are coming to depend on this as their daily source of news. Because of the greater choice of information sources consumers have the ability to be more selective in the consumption of their information.
The greater choice available has led to the audience shifting too less traditional forms of news and less traditional sources.
The ability to write autonomously allows for people to believe that the information is free from bias, control and positioning, but nothing is. While civilian journalism may be free from institutional control there are other problems associated that have the potential to warp the information being consumed. Civilian Journalists don’t have to comply with a code of ethics, and don’t have the professional integrity that binds them to reporting accurate information. They also don’t have the connections to information sources that ensure accuracy. Because of this civilian pieces may lack the credibility of professional sources and the sources of information are harder to trace.
People are beginning to suggest that because of the ample sources of information people are choosing those which they feel they can trust. Older generations often follow a reporter, news anchor, TV channel or Newspaper which they have come to trust as having reliable relevant information. However, the youth rely on friends and family in social media to get news and information through posting links. The traditional sources have an aging demographic and some believe empires are “unravelling”. (Mark Scott)
Civilian Journalism has changed the public’s consumption of information. It is changing the role of traditional news sources. It has the potential to change the future industry though changing the role of the news empires.