Citizen Journalism vs. Mainstream Media

Last Updated: 26 Jan 2021
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Citizen journalism is news that comes from the larger public and not well- known and legitimate news agencies like, The Washington Post or The Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Citizen journalism can be most recognized in the form of blogs or wiki sites. 15211 is a citizen journalism site that is based in Mt. Washington which is a small part of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The title of the blog relates to the blog because it is the zip code for Mount Washington residents.

The blog discusses current events that are going on in the Mount Washington area only; the site masters are completely open to criticism and understand that not everyone agrees or likes what is being discussed. A mainstream media outlet close to Mount Washington is the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. This newspaper discusses everything from sports to local news to country wide and international affairs. Although there is an opinion section in the paper, it is not all opinion based like a blog.

Also, newspapers provide other things than just news whether it is informative or opinionated; it also provides coupons for state wide stores and allows their audience to connect to other websites such as job search sites. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette provides a wide range of informative topics to appeal to a wide range of publics. Since newspapers are losing their appeal to the newer generations they must start finding new ways to attract people to read and subscribe to their publication.

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Although many publics in today’s society prefer mainstream media to citizen journalism, there are many pros to blogs and wiki sites. For instance the blog, 15211 is targeted to a specific public (audience) which are the people of Mount Washington, a small part of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as it says in the about us section. Having a target audience allows for more freedom to write about anything related to that topic and not receiving many contradictory statements or backlash opinions.

Although most blogs have a targeted audience, backlash comes with the territory and one of the things that 15211 says is, “Sometimes you’ll like what you read, other times you won’t. That is the point of a blog and we intend to keep true to the medium. We know that our opinions may not be yours and vice versa, but we respect the fact that you’re here…. ” This allows more people to openly express their opinion and respond to the opinion of the creator without feeling judged.

Another upside to citizen journalism is that it is very easy to share and connect with the site and the other followers. On the 15211 home page they have a tiny box in the middle of the page that allows you to share or bookmark the site to 11 different social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google Bookmarks. On the site, the blog creators also allow people to view a live Twitter comment feed on the website so that they don’t have to have Twitter to view the comments people are making about the blog posts.

Citizen Journalism good at sharing information and allowing others to participate in the discussion, but being completely opinionated and specific on one topic is not always a good thing. On negative thing about citizen journalism is that they mostly only apply to specific publics/audiences and although the internet has many different blogs and wiki sites that attract all people, it still doesn’t cover everyone, especially older generations who are against the change in the way that we view and access our information.

Being able to expand to just more than one specific public might help increase the recognition just like mainstream media is. Another down side to citizen journalism is that it is all opinionated and although people like the freedom of expressing their opinion, people like facts and information that they can definitely rely on to right. After researching the 15211 site, citizen journalism seems to be on the rise and more accessible than ever with social networking and bookmarking sites.

All in all it seems as though it is becoming new way for people to express themselves without having to reveal too much about themselves like on Facebook. It also allows internet surfers to read only what they want and what they connect and agree to the most. Citizen journalism is becoming very popular and with the way technology is growing and expanding it only seems like this form of journalism will become even larger among the future generations.

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Citizen Journalism vs. Mainstream Media. (2017, Apr 10). Retrieved from

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