Thursday, June 13, 2024


Platforms like Wikinews allow the public to weigh in on news stories. (Alice Hebb photo)
Platforms like Wikinews allow the public to weigh in on news stories. (Alice Hebb photo)

The 21st century—the epoch of technological revolution—has given rise to a uniquely modern style of journalism.  Current event stories used to be the domain of those with formal journalistic education, but technological advances have enabled regular citizens to fulfill the role of the journalist. Modern technology empowers people to capture the nuances of their own lives and of the stories that surround them. With innovative devices and apps such as the iPhone and Instagram, people are now able to document moments of drama and embed them into the collective consciousness. When a person observes any interesting or newsworthy event, he or she can immediately document this moment and share it with the world. New technology also enables writers who disseminate and gather news stories to work in a collaborative way.

The accessibility of modern technology creates a wide network of interconnected global citizens. The Internet is used as a platform for people to work together to document the constantly-occurring, real-life news stories that surround them and to interpret the significance of these events through commentary through social media. The interchange of ideas and thoughts is helpful to limit the bias of a single viewpoint to create a much broader and more profound understanding of any news event. The openness and transparency of the modern style introduces a more democratic approach to journalism, representative of the diverse perspectives that people express through the Internet.

In the past, the content and message of a news story would be determined by journalist and present a particular perspective. With the rise of the Internet, a newly conversational style of reporting has been developed that integrates many different sources of information. The journalism of the Internet era includes collaborative news stories that encompass and incorporate numerous authors and articles and a diverse range of perspectives. People analyze, comment and build upon all news stories, to create an original narrative.  People constantly and consistently provide feedback as the public importance of a news story through the attention they pay to the particular story and their actions and reactions on the Internet.

In our modern age, both professional and amateur reporters work together to develop news articles. Mainstream media sites incorporate formal reporting with the commentary of regular citizens. In the new Wiki-style platform for collaboration, people can contribute directly to stories or build upon the story externally, through their own personal blogs. The Wiki collaborative approach is based on content that is generated in the public sphere. For example, Wikinews was founded in 2003, and NewsVine in 2006. These websites establish the possibility for a continuous and ongoing conversation revolving around the issue of the moment. Wiki journalism offers the possibility for independence of thought that is unavailable in traditional media.

It is true that members of the public who participate in the collaborative form of journalism lack the sanction of an official news source. They are not always held to the same standard of accuracy by the public as those reporting for traditional media. But the freedom and openness that is the basis of the collaborative style makes available a broader and more diverse analysis of news stories. The collaborative approach makes a more creative and integrative model of journalism possible. The future of journalism will use constantly evolving technology. The collaborative style of journalism is successful because of the participatory aspect that builds a community to create a cohesive narrative and more diverse interpretation and broadened understanding of the significance of global news events.


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