Citizen Journalism, Freedom of Speech or Hoax Making Machine?
In the era of information disclosure, news has almost become primary consumption for everyone. Information can come from anywhere, such as from news sites, television, newspapers, social media, and so on. With openness and freedom of expression, anyone can become a journalist.
What is Citizen Journalism?
As the name implies, citizen journalism is an activity carried out by citizens/community to collect, compile, and disseminate information to the public or the public. The perpetrators of disseminating the information came from among the citizens and not from professional media journalists.
What is informed can be in the form of news, the latest information, the state of the crime scene, to tips and tricks. With the emergence of social media, citizen journalism is even more widespread. You probably watch YouTube videos a lot. This is an example of a means for citizen journalism.
Media Journalists VS Citizen Journalists
Media journalists or professional journalists that we know have shortcomings, namely, sometimes they frame the news (framming) according to the existing interests. Citizen journalists certainly have much better independence. Citizen journalists do not have conflicts of interest such as business and politics.
The problem with citizen journalism is the issue of credibility. As we know that media journalists have the competence and code of ethics for journalists, not for citizen journalists whose validity or quality of information is still in doubt.
Do you still remember about a mother who cursed a courier? Or is it news about a father scolding a franchise store cashier for letting his son top up with stolen money? The news went viral very quickly. That's one of the advantages of citizen journalism, everything will spread so quickly. However, this can backfire when the information disseminated is a hoax and fake news. This is because citizen journalism does not verify and clarify news. Everything just happened and as it is. Each reader is a filter for himself.
So what about the fate of professional journalists?
According to Andy F. Noya, a senior Indonesian journalist, the segments of citizen and professional journalism are actually different. Professional journalism has requirements for accuracy, depth, and completeness of news. While citizen journalism does not have this.
Citizen journalism is not something that threatens professional journalism, but the two go hand in hand in providing information.
Citizen Journalism and Democracy
Freedom of the press is one of the characteristics of a democracy. Citizen journalism carries the concept that anyone can become a journalist and express opinions. I don't want to discuss further, maybe we can discuss together in the comments column. Do you think citizen journalism can free us all from the completely unfree "free press" bias? What is your view on citizen journalism as a hoax-making machine? Let's discuss.