Are Citizen Journalists a Threat to Television?

The internet and social media are changing the way we learn and share news. But right behind these two comes television. Whether it be a live report or a cut-in, television stations have the abilities to broadcast at any time and are usually quick at getting breaking news. But as citizen journalists continue to emerge, this could pose a threat to the television industry.

So how will television continue to thrive with the abundance of citizen journalists? Stations are going to have to interact more with their audience and incorporate their work into newscasts. People want to know about news the second that it happens, and social media can deliver that promise. When it comes to newspapers, the printing cycle is usually every 24 hours, which is why the industry is steadily declining. Luckily, television stations have multiple newscasts a day, but it’s still not instant. In fact, some reports indicate that cable television has already seen a decline in the number of subscriptions over the past ten years. This goes to show the change in how people are receiving their news and the push toward social media.

Citizen journalists are a threat to televisions stations in a way. With an eyewitness at the scene, studies have shown that viewers they will most likely post their footage to social media before sending it to television stations.

According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 70% of people use some form of social media in their daily lives. Even if they are not specifically looking for news, they are bound to come across it from likes, shares, and retweets.

To combine the two, I believe televisions stations need to learn to accept and adapt to user generated content.  This will most likely boost the stations ratings, along with giving more publicity to citizen journalists work. In a way, it’s a win win situation.

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