As a member of Generation Y and a current college student, it is hard to imagine what the world would be like without technology. Technology serves a great purpose in my every day life. I never leave my dorm room without my cell phone in hand and my laptop in my backpack. Throughout the day I check my newsfeed on Facebook, post noteworthy pictures on Instagram, and on rare occasion I use Twitter as an outlet to share my joys and frustrations. Before enrolling in this Introduction to Media and Culture class, I had no idea that my participation in social media could be considered journalism.
Citizen journalism is based upon the public’s engagement in collecting, reporting, and analyzing news. What is categorized as “news”? Well, that involves gatekeeping. Gatekeeping is the process by which media is filtered. Over the years the public has become much more influential in gatekeeping with the increasing importance of ratings and audience. The media strives to satisfy their audiences.
Take for example, MSNBC interrupting a congresswoman to report, “breaking news” on Justin Bieber’s arrest. When I watched this YouTube video I couldn’t help but laugh. How could Justin Bieber’s arrest possibly be breaking news? Americans find an increasing amount of value in the entertainment world and because of this Justin Bieber’s arrest is (apparently) worthy of interrupting a government official.