Interview with NewsMeBack

Email interview with citizen journalism group, NewsMeBack

Do you consider citizen journalism a gift or menace to news reporters?

Of course as a gift. News reporters need constant news and citizen journalism offers many various photos, reportage and videos.

When do you believe the phrase ‘citizen journalist’ became common?

Citizen journalism idea is not so young, but I suppose around 2009-2010 phrase citizen journalist started to spread around the world, both on online and mainstream media.

Do you believe that the nature of the citizen journalist has changed in the past decade? (e.g. now anybody with a phone can be a journalist).

Sure, today it’s easier than ever to be a citizen journalist. You have the tools and social media, all you need is a gadget and news of course.

What do you consider to be the pros and cons of citizen journalists?

There are really many pros and cons for this phenomenon but here are few maybe most important.

Pros : – Availability to wide range of news, no matter how local they are. This gives citizen journalists real exclusivity.        – Citizen journalists usually cover the news which mainstream media misses, that’s why they are much needed in filling the gaps.

Cons:  – Maybe lack of ethics, but that depends of a person, it is an issue with professional journalists, too.        –  Checking the facts – usually citizen journalists record an event and present it to the public, very often without checking all the facts related to the event.

Do you think there are any economical implications for working news reporters that cause them to rely on citizen journalists?

In the past journalists had to travel to any country for news reporting. Now, there’s no need for that when you have hundreds of ready citizens to report you not on daily but on hourly basis. This gives unique coverage, breaking news and headlines of most important events anywhere in the world. Without delays and waiting.

Do you believe a relationship between the ‘professional’ and the citizen journalist could be successfully operated?

Yes, professional journalists should check citizen journalism news and give their own insights, maybe some additional research if required. All that for better news coverage and audience.

What do you predict for the future of citizen journalism?

Citizen journalism has certain future and growth. Professional journalists will just have to learn to accept and work together with citizen journalists because media is changing every day. And those changes are in favour of citizen journalism.


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