Many feared that social media would undermine professional reporting. Defensive journalists derided it. “I would trust citizen journalism as much as I would trust citizen surgery,” quipped Morley Safer, a CBS correspondent. As it turns out, photographs, videos and tweets from ordinary people are improving and expanding news coverage. They also create work for journalists who know how to curate, authenticate and analyse their material.
Far from shunning “shaky footage”, audiences think users’ videos more intimate and authentic than broadcasters’ slick shots, says Claire Wardle of Storyful, a firm that spots and verifies user-generated content. “If they don’t show it, people will go to YouTube to see it.” Journalists covering big news stories are getting better at scouring social networks for sources. And thrusting news firms have tried to outdo their competitors by building systems that encourage readers to submit material to them directly.
Read the full piece at The Economist