Mass communication, can help an individual be involved into different adventures especially during wars where a field reporter can be given a chance to cover the big event which can be part of the world’s history; thus, without mass media we will be unaware of the happenings of our society that will make us unconcern to the status of the society where we live in. Mass communication is correlated with the mass media which involve journalism. Mass communication is a very challenging profession because it can truly enhance individual’s communication skills and hasten his/her knowledge to be more equipped and competitive in his/her chosen endeavor which is in the mass communication.
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Through mass communication, updated news is rendered to the public which help them be aware about the current events and situation in the society where they live in. As time passed by, mass communication has paving its way because its methods in giving news or information have dramatically changed. It can now publish or post its information through internet as a sign of progress and development of our technology.
Surely, mass communication is a very significant in each individual’s life. But do journalists and newscasters delivered the information without jeopardy? Are the information provided to the public are accurate and correct? Those are the some queries that an individual may have in each mind. This kind of profession is quite risky and life-threatening because several journalists sacrifice their lives especially during wars and diligently and bravely go forward in the middle of the war in order to get the latest updates yet they tend to go forward. There are times too that journalist will have death threat from people who are involve in scams or syndicates that are already devastated because their illegal operations have been exposed through mass media. Moreover, mass communication pertains to a word that explains and illustrates the academic study of different means where individuals and entities transport information to enormous segments of the population all at once by the mass media (see “Mass Communication.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. October 4, 2006).
Furthermore, the mass communication has enlarged its field by involving the citizen by gathering information. This is the new trend nowadays, involving the citizens in the world of mass communication. The citizens of our society are the immediate respondents that really know the day to day living and through their personal experiences, they easily accumulate reports and have it analyze and disseminate the reports.The focal points of this study are to: (1) understand the meaning of journalism (2) know what citizen journalism is; (2) be aware of its history and; (3) recognized its criticism and; (4) recognized the future of citizen journalism.
Journalism denotes to a discipline of “collecting, scrutinizing, authenticating and presenting news concerning the present trends, issues, people and events. An individual who practice journalism is called as journalist. There are times that news-oriented journalism is illustrated as the “first rough draft of history” for the reason that journalists frequently note down significant events and produce news articles on a short period of time. Since journalists are under pressure because of its desire to be the first one to give the latest news, news media group normally edit and proofread their stories earlier than the publication but keeping its standards of quality, accuracy and style. There are three ways of reporting and these are the print journalism, broadcast journalism and on-line journalism (see “Journalism”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. October 23, 2006).
Citizen journalism is recognized as “participatory journalism” where the citizens are given the chance to participate or take part an active position in the course of gathering, reporting, scrutinizing and distributing news and information as stated in the groundbreaking report entitled “We Media: How Audiences are Shaping the Future of News and Information” written by Shayne Browman and Chris Willis. The stated that: “The intent of this participation is to provide independent, reliable, accurate, wide-ranging and relevant information that a democracy requires.” The citizen journalism must not be puzzled with the Civic Journalism which is performed and practiced by the professional journalists (see “Citizen Journalism”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. October 13, 2006). In an Online Journalism Review article in 2003, J.D Lasica categorized the media for citizen journalism in these following:
Audience Participation- pertains to user analysis and judgment affixed to the personal blogs, news stories and video footage which taken from personal mobile phones or any local news printed by the residents of a community (see “Citizen Journalism”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. October 13, 2006).
Independent news and information Websites- pertains to consumer reports and the drudge report (see “Citizen Journalism”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. October 13, 2006).
Full-fledged participatory news sites like the OhMyNews, a South Korean online newspaper having the motto of “Every Citizen is a Reporter” (see “OhmyNews”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. September 8, 2006).
Cooperative and contributory media sites like Slashdot and Kuro5hin (see “Citizen Journalism”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. October 13, 2006).
And other kinds of “thin media” like of the email newsletter and mailing lists (see “Citizen Journalism”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. October 13, 2006).
Personal broadcasting sites that pertains the video broadcast like of the KenRadio (see “Citizen Journalism”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. October 13, 2006).
Right after the 1998 U.S. presidential election as a countermeasure in contradiction to the corroding trusts in the mass media and extensive public disenchantment with civic and politics undertakings and concerns, the citizen journalism association came out in the scene. A journalist professor at New York University named Jay Rosen was one of the first advocates. Since 1993 up until 1997, Professor Jay Rosen had managed and regulated the Project on Public Life and the Press which was subsidized by the Knight Foundation and housed at NYU. Not only that, Professor Rosen is presently manages the PressThink weblog. Primarily, the discussions regarding the public journalism concentrated on the promotions on journalism which changed the way the professional reporters have done their work (see “Citizen Journalism: History”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. October 13, 2006). A current research conducted and was intended for the Pew Center and the Associated Press Managing Editors discovered that:
“Forty-five percent of all editors surveyed say that their newsrooms use the tools and techniques of civic journalism. Sixty-six percent say they either embrace the label or like the philosophy and tools, suggesting that there are even more practitioners” (see “Citizen Journalism: History”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. October 13, 2006).
Moreover, Leonard Witt stated that:
"Often part of 'special projects' that were expensive, time-consuming and episodic. Too often these projects dealt with an issue and moved on. Journalists were driving the discussion. They would say, "Let's do a story on welfare-to-work (or the environment, or traffic problems, or the economy)," and then they would recruit a cross-section of citizens and chronicle their points of view. Since not all reporters and editors bought into public journalism, and some outright opposed it…”((see “Citizen Journalism: History”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. October 13, 2006).
Furthermore, by the year 2004 U.S. presidential election, the Republican and Democratic parties handed out press qualifications and certificates to citizen bloggers which cover the convention that marked a novel level of effect and reliability for nontraditional journalists (see “Citizen Journalism: History”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. October 13, 2006).
Citizen journalists were once thought to be activists; that was why the citizen journalists had drawn a number of disapproval from traditional media institutions like The New York Times which have blamed advocates of public journalism of forsaking the traditional aim of objectivity. The head of the New Media Lab at Rhodes University named Vincent Maher outlined on his paper a number of weak points in the claims created by the citizen journalists. During 2005, an article written by Tom Grubisich has reassessed and evaluated ten novel citizen journalism sites and discovered that several of them are without content and quality (see “Citizen Journalism: Criticism”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ocotber 13, 2006).
Everything that exists has its future and its end. The citizen journalists’ websites like of the Backfence will be materialized to create community newspaper that only created on the local writers’ talent as well as the videobloggers, podcasters and photographers. Many of these sites will hire a workflow procedure and a template to assure stability and permanence (see Weiner, Allen. “The Future of Citizen Journalism.” February 28, 2005).
Citizen journalism truly gives chances to the citizen of its country to participate in the events of the society where they live. However, citizen journalists and citizen journalism sites must not used its freedom to stumble others by giving bad impressions to the topic they want to write or have a blog.
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