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Citizen Journalism: The Benefit of Fast News Outweighs Spotty Accuracy

As social media has grown and expanded to mobile devices, so has the prevalence of citizen journalism. The public no longer has to wait for a news outlet to report on a breaking story, as anybody with an internet connection and a social media account or blog can cover what is occurring right in front of them before a traditional news crew or journalist even arrives on scene.

However, though the rise of internet journalism has proven to be a positive in many aspects of reporting, it is not without its faults. Primarily, the major problem that results from allowing anyone to post what they want, when they want is that quality and accuracy have the very real possibility of decreasing significantly. With no editors and no moral or ethical obligation to be entirely truthful, an average person on social media can write whatever they please, leaving it up to the reader to determine how trustworthy their product is.

On the other hand, citizen journalism does have the distinct advantage of being able to break news stories faster than traditional forms of media could ever hope to. Due to the fact that the Internet is so common and so accessible, anybody who just so happens to be present when a given event occurs can report on it, possibly even prior to authorities and professional news organizations knowing about it. This can be extremely beneficial, for criminal activity and emergencies can be attended to quicker than ever before, while securing initial information is now far less difficult for journalists themselves. Despite the aforementioned inconsistencies within this form of media, the advantage of rapid news far outweighs the occasional lack of accuracy and quality.

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