Participatory News

October 2, 2009

How credible are your social media sources? When I first began working for my school newspapers and learning about journalism, it was emphasized to get good and prominent people as quoted sources for your story. Their input was considered more credible or reliable, and had more of an impact or held more support in comparison to what some average Joe could have stated.

Nowadays, although there are still journalistic standards as to which sources to quote, more and more average citizens are participating in reporting the news or acting as a source. For example, Ellyn Angelotti of Poynter Institute said that there have been many changes in the old news communication model to the more interactive one. This was seen when the first picture of the Hudson place crash was not one that originated from a reporter, but from an iPhone belonging to a personal trainer who was visiting New York at the time. This photograph and its story were sent around Twitter before it was published through a news organization.

This idea of participatory news has increased throughout the years as technology has advanced. Information is being gathered from news sites, experiences, social networking sites, and even blogs. So how do you know that it’s credible and that you can use their information in your story? The time old answer and only way is to check and recheck your facts.

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