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Citizen Journalists and the Evolution of Political Media

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The digital culture also presupposes convergence but in terms of media, it can be understood as a combination of various technological means of expression, such as audio, video, photography. Moreover, close interaction between those producing content and those who consume is also another attribute of convergence (Rutgiliano, 2008, 24). Citizen journalism is sometimes called participatory journalism and is defined as the act of citizens who take part in the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information in order to provide public with accurate, up-to-date, and relevant data demanded by democracy needs (Shayne & Willis, 2003, 9).

Obviously, citizen journalism appeared comparatively recently, however, the very concept of ordinary citizens participating in the creation of a media product was familiar to this industry long ago. One of the brightest examples of citizen journalism is dated back to 1963 when Abraham Zapruder took his camera movie camera to capture one of the most significant events of the American history of the XXth century- John Kennedy`s assassinations. Three days later the video was sold for almost $150.000 (Allan & Thorsen, 2009, 83). However, providing information is not the only form of citizen journalism, there are other ways of effective participation in the media process today, such as commenting, filtering, fact-checking, and grassroots reporting.

Commenting is the first form of participatory journalism that gained exceptional popularity recently (Deuze, 2005, 14). According to Outing, commenting changes sufficiently the procedure of news perception and delivery. At the most basic level, the possibility of commenting allows expressing personal opinions, criticizing or appreciating the content created by real journalists. Any site that gives users the possibility of commenting receives an opportunity to see an instant feedback on the information and determine the most popular reaction.

Moreover, readers` comments add to the content of the articles and can give the brief analysis of the information. That is why commenting can improve original content (2005, 2).

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