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.


  1. Carly I totally agree with you…I couldn’t give two shits about Bieber’s life, what he’s smoking, who he’s dating….its completely irrelevant to me. Citizens, or maybe Americans, care way too much about celebrities and what they are doing; it reduces the news to gossip, and scandal, when ultimately it should be about what’s happening in the world of politics, important news stories…things people should care about…I know the news puts out stories that people want to hear, but what if the news put out stories people SHOULD hear…would our priorities change? I know this means that the news stations would be controlling what I’m viewing, but let’s be honest they already are.

  2. Does anyone find it a bit strange that Justin Bieber got arrested in the first place? He’s one of the most famous celebrities in America and is still irresponsible enough to let this happen. What’s even more strange is that it didn’t seem to put a damper on his popularity. “Justin Bieber got arrested, let’s interrupt important things to tell you, then forget it ever happened by tomorrow”.

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