Friends or Foes? Seeking Common Grounds for Collaboration among Citizen Journalists and Mainstream Journalists
Collaboration among mainstream media and citizen journalism is not new, neither is the tension that have existed among them. What is interesting is the hydra-headed nature of their relationship. After over two decades of co-existence and co-optation, it is anticipated that a robust mutually beneficial relationship has been forged. This is not the case however, as some mainstream media still view citizen journalism as a threat and vice versa. This paper is an attempt to revisit the notion of collaborative reporting and x-rays the inherent benefits that accompany such healthy relationship. Through the lenses of the communitarian theory, the paper provides the Collaborative Media Octopus as a model that explicitly relays the outcomes of a positive and negative citizen-mainstream journalists relationship. The paper further argues that in a digital era, journalists from mainstream media and user-generated platforms must view themselves as friends rather than foes due to the immense positive consequences that far outweighs the negative.
Keywords: Friends, Foes, Common grounds, Citizen Journalists, Mainstream Journalists