Citizen journalism is basically when a citizen reports the news. There are two main forms of citizen journalism and one is that it is usually opportunistic however it can also be planned.
Once the information has been captured by a citizen, it is usually distributed through social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs (all products of the digital age).
The majority of people today have the access to all the information they need as well as internet at home or on the go, e.g. through a mobile phone. As well as this social media has been on the rise with Facebook and Twitter now a necessity for news organisations to use as a source of news.
There are many different types of citizen journalism and citizen journalists. As mentioned it can be opportunistic and this is the most common form of citizen journalism reported. This accidental form happens when a bystander or citizen happen to be in the right place at the right time, for example at the site of a tragedy that has just happened and they witness the incident unfolding before them and capture it through film, photos or write about the event. What the person does with the information they have captured is their own choice, they may post it their selves on their blog or through social media or in some cases, citizen journalists work with the media the get the message out to the public through global media and in a more professional context.
The other type of citizen journalist is somebody who has purposely placed their selves at the scene in order to capture an event as it unfolds to communicate this to the rest of the world. Although they have done this they will not have any journalistic training or background and therefore class as a citizen journalist, an ordinary person reporting like the professionals.