In class we discussed the effect mainstream media has on its viewers and how people are becoming mass producers of content instead of being just the audience. This relates to the idea of participatory journalism. No social change can occur without some media bias. It has become clear that news stories and content that circulates the media is bias. I found it interesting that this topic has also come up in another communications class where we discussed the effects of ‘The Big Five’ who seems to have dominated the media. These media conglomerates control what we think about and what content we receive across our mediums. However, they do not control how we think. This is where participatory journalism comes in. This is an alternative form of media that gives the viewers a voice, allowing them to state their opinion on politics and other news related material. There are some things in the media that just aren’t clear. Many stories are even covered up by the media. This emerging form of journalism is a way to get the real facts from a story. People have the opportunity to provide newsworthy stories and everyone has an opinion, so the audience won’t get a cover up story.
An example of participatory journalism was revealed by CNN’s 3rd Annual iReport Awards of 2012. Different stories are revealed by everyday citizens who control the news content they are releasing to the public. Another website points out the transformation of YouTube from starting out as a place to watch funny videos and music content to now a place where people post their own ground breaking news stories. Especially now in this digital age, it’s important to remember that the audience has the power to shape the media the way they want.