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Whether we like it or not, user-generated content through iPhones is increasing rapidly

The public has become more active in media production in several ways. One way is through user-generated content, which occurs when digital media enables audiences to develop their own content. For example, last year, Belkin, an electronic manufacturing company, created a customizable iPhone case in partnership with Lego, where customers could make their own iPhone case with actual legos and share their creativity to the public by tagging their Instagram photos with #LegoxBelkin. By showing potential customers how cool their iPhone cases can be, Belkin took advantage of user-generated content by letting the customers do the selling for them. 

Another example of user-generated content is when the public creates their own news, which is referred to as "citizen journalism." Citizen journalism is becoming more popular because more people are beginning to realize that they, too, can be publishers of content. iPhones and other smart devices allow for easy access to obtain and spread news.

In 2012, there was a devastating plane crash in Nigeria, killing 153 passengers aboard. A local named Femi Green-Adebo was at home with his friends when they heard the loud noise of the plane crash. Green-Adebo was able to capture photographs of the scene and got them out in the media right away. If it weren't for Green-Adebo, the media would have missed covering this breaking news, and the media and public would not have been provided with a different prospective of the event: one that depicts the action and intensity of the moment from a local who witnessed the event.

Other pros of citizen journalism is that it helps to get local citizens more engaged in the issues affecting their lives, and, because of this, it promotes activism. All of this is possible through iPhones, and other smart devices, which make finding relevant news stories easy, as well as sharing their own news through social media, blogs, and the likewise. Today, a person can share what's happening in front of them simply by snapping a picture and reporting it via social media.

The cons of citizen journalism is that citizen journalists have no formal training in reporting, which leads to factual inaccuracies and a discrepancy in what news actually is. Everyone has their own ideas of what's important and what should be shared with the world. So it's up to the public to decide for themselves on what sources are interesting, reliable and dependable for the truth.


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