Cultural Convergence and the Rise of the Citizen Journalist

Convergence. Can’t be denied; it’s everywhere. And there are many different aspects of it too. Cultural convergence. According to Henry Jenkins is “a new participatory folk culture…giving average people the tools to archive, annontate, appropriate and recirculate content.” Cultural convergence is the new way in which news is reaching every corner of the globe. How? Through citizen journalists. What is a citizen journalist you ask? According to Oxford Dictionaries, the meaning of citizen journalist is: “the collection, dissemination, and analysis of news and information by the general public, especially by means of the interent”. Examples? Growing up, I always got my news through my favourite tv shows Rove and the Chaser’s. Why not the news? Generally people associate the news with seriousness and sadness. The advantage of collecting news through such means as comics like Rove and the Chaser’s is they grab the audiences attention. They grab our attention by making jokes out of what we need to know. This isn’t promoting the news as a light hearted topic, it’s simply just taking it on from a different perspective.

Another example of citizen journalism is Facebook.  For example, in five days the Kony2012 campaign video had 70 million views, making it the fastest growing social video campaign to date. Through social media sites like Facebook, citizen journalism is becoming more and more simpler. The whole world can receive a message just by a click.

So who are citizen journalists and what is the problem society seems to be having with them? To put it simply, we are the journalists and the only problem that can be associated with the freedom that entails citizen journalism is the lack of following a code of ethic. But as Jay Rosen once said, “The Net Knows More.”


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