AJ Dimas-Lehndorf November 22, 2016
There are two ways that I participate as a citizen journalist, and to be honest, I’m not very good at either of them. I do try my best, however.
The first way that I participate is being a news aggregator. I am not very effective as one because I like my Facebook friends, so I’m extremely selective with what I share. But when I do share an article, I can guarantee that I have read it, and have reason to believe that it is accurate. I have a real problem with people who share articles purely based on their headlines and pictures. More often than not, though, I decide not to share an article (especially political articles (Except Hillary Clinton posts(I like her(I’m just a little butthurt about that election)))). Instead, I “react” or “comment” on the post so that Facebook’s algorithms work the post into my friends’ feeds without it being immortalized on my personal profile.
The second way that I participate as a citizen journalist is as an amateur reviewer. I discussed TripAdvisor in a previous blog post, but I will mention it again because it is so fun (not really (just for people like me)) and really helpful. My career as a reviewer (I use that word loosely) really started when I was going to visit this really salty lake in the middle of Saskatchewan. The town only had two real hotels, and neither of them had particularly informative websites. I was so uncertain of the experience that I nearly gave up the trip entirely. After the trip, I thought that the experience was lovely and wanted to share the information I had with other travelers. I already had a bunch of pictures because I take pictures of everything, and I filled my written review with all the information that the reader could possibly want. I have since continued writing about my experiences at other places. I hope that my reviews will be as helpful to others as the reviews of others have been to me.
Very little of my contributions as a citizen journalist have been picked up by old media. My contributions may have had some impact on small businesses like attractions and restaurants, as well as corporations like chain hotels and entertainment corporations. The vast majority of my reviews have elicited a response from the business that I reviewed, indicating to me that they read my opinions at least. In summary, read the reviews next time you’re choosing between places to stay, eat, or play. Moreover, try writing a review next time you have an opinion about a product or service.