The Internet has enabled audiences to get more involved in news production and distribution. Terms like ‘citizen journalism‘ are used to describe these changes. The wide accessibility of the Internet has allowed online platforms to be used for content creation, sharing and managing, new forms of citizen journalism. Recently, media and journalists have been challenged by the developments in social media such as Twitter and Facebook. This new gate used by media and users, has allowed for reporting eyewitness news. Although, reporting in social media often lacks a clear storyline and sense of flow. In relation to Twitter, one single tweet from an event is worthless, however when tweets are aggregated they become valuable. As Steven Johnson states:
“Yes, it was built entirely out of 140-character messages, but the sum of those tweets added up to something truly substantive, like a suspension bridge made of pebbles.”
The increasingly active role of audiences in news creation is changing the traditional roles between media and journalists and their readers. This concept is Gatewatching, that is the innovative practice of news reporting through social media curation. Audiences drive news selection and creation. In other words, gatewatchers publicise news by pointing to sources rather than publish it (Bruns, n.d.). Gatewatching as a news-gathering practice is suited to the World Wide Web, similarly as gatekeeping has been suited for the print and broadcast news medium (Bruns, n.d.). As more audiences shift from these media to the Web for their news, it is likely that they will experience this paradigm shift from gatekeeping to gatewatching.
Bruns, Axel. n.d. Gatewatching. ‘Gatewatching, Not Gatekeeping: Collaborative Online News.’ Available from: http://snurb.info/files/Gatewatching,%20Not%20Gatekeeping.pdf [Accessed: 18th September 2016]