Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mass Amateurization
Amateurs vs. Professionals 
In Everyone is a Media Outlet, Clay Shirky describes mass amateurization as a global takeover of basically, people taking journalism into their own hands. People that are not professional journalist are putting out news, and having large reader consumption; this is a serious problem for the capital of professionals. Shirky makes it a point that citizen journalism is going nowhere, it’s just growing and growing; journalists just have to find a way around that. One of my favorite quotes that helps describe why Shirky is stressing the point of “mass amateurization” is, “A Wikipedia article is a process, not a product” (Shirky 59). This line from Shirky’s readings is one of the truest statements of today’s media world; because Wikipedia is like one of the first databases that pop up in Google’s search engine. It is the first database everyone sees, and clicks on.  But what’s scary about this “Process” is that people can alter the information at any giving moment, meaning that it could be changed to a falsified output of media.

When Shirky speaks about mass amateurization he is talking about all of our “citizen journalist”. These free spirits go out capture some footage, and attach a story to it; and they do this with in seconds. This type of media gets out faster, because it is “amatue”; there is no real professessionality to it. What journalist do that citizen journalist don’t do is “attribute”, meaning give the history on the story. Journalists investigate the matter at hand. 

Media outlets such as newspapers, and channels, even radio shows have a number to dial, or section on their website where citizen journalist could summit their own stories. The reason why media outlets have this is because they know the story the citizen journalist has isn’t enough, and has to be investigated by professional journalists; but citizen journalist sometimes do bring in good leads. Shirky explains that people in the media industry could not fathom this concept at first; he says “for people with a professional outlook, it’s hard to understand how something that isn’t professionally produced could affect them, not only is the internet not a newspaper, it isn’t a business or even an institution” (Shirky 56).  He is explaining that the internet is yes helpful but helps give off free information with no strings attached, and that is a problem for journalist.

 Shirky explains that the outcome of mass amateurization will grow and just culturally change the world as the internet takes over even more. News is going to be put out differently in years to come. Now we are in a “news evolution/ revolution” with the way we put out media through Iphones, computers, the Itouch, and ect. Not only do we have these devices to put out media, we have sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter that intensify mass communication. For example whenever there is a presidential election now, information about candidates are flooding these sites. In 2009 was the first time we really saw the networks help out in an election like never before. Obama’s campaign was part of our media evolution; we got to see polls and stats in a way we had never seen before. Shirky says “the mass amateurization of publishing undoes the limitations inherent in having a small number of traditional press outlets” (shirky 59). We no longer need to go on to CNN and get the news about an election; we can go to Twitter and probably get it faster.

Jenkins says “we take a large piece of media and we expand on it (Jenkins 179).  We see this happen in media all the time, where a “Professional” may publish something; and now an amateur expands it into a piece of media of their own. George Lucas creator of star wars probably had no idea, in the time frame he produced the movie; that it would become an expansion of multiple amateur publications.

I see mass amateurization only growing in the media world. These amateur’s may one day become professionals. But as of now I see the major media outlets like the New York Times still being much more popular for factual content; because they are credible. I feel a lot of people get their information off of places like Twitter, but then cross reference with a site like the New York Times because of credibility purposes.  I see Jenkins, and Shirky in a couple years updating this information in new books, talking about the next media revolution; maybe will have new devices, and media outlets by that time.

credited Image: http://www.bspcn.com/2010/06/18/6-ridiculous-arguments-that-actually-happened-on-wikipedia/

Credited Image:watchdogwire.com - 630 × 238 - Search by image
by Alan Caruba

Citations :
Clay Shirky,published March 25, 2008, article Most reviewed: Here Comes Everybody and We-think 
Henry Jenkins,2007, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide

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