Advances in Technology and Their Effect on PR

October 7, 2009 at 1:57 pm (Uncategorized)


In my Intro. To New Media class, we recently discussed a spike in citizen journalism nationally and internationally. With new developments in technology, like camcorders being built into iPods and iPhones, it is becoming increasingly easier for regular people to broadcast live videos online. Millions of people watch YouTube videos every day, and its setup facilitates the quick dissemination of true or false information.

The link posted above is a San Francisco Chronicle article about CNN’s new iPhone application that allows users to pull up news stories and even live streaming video. But it’s not just CNN distributing the videos to users; the application also allows subscribers to submit photos and video to CNN as well. In the past two years, CNN’s has received half a million photos or videos of news-worthy events around the world. It is amazing how much the average Joe is capable of doing with the right technology in hand.

There is even an AP Stylebook application that serious citizen journalists can pull up to check their grammar when writing or reporting on a story.

I see present-day citizen journalism as being a potential benefit and problem for PR practitioners. It’s a quick way for people to post feedback and information about a client you may be representing. But with the rate at which a negative or untrue story could be posted to YouTube, blogs or even news sites like CNN, PR practitioners must be on top of watching social media and protecting their client’s image.

I personally like the advances that have facilitated citizen journalism. It allows us to see video or photos of events that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. Every major news broadcasting organization has a certain take on things: CNN is more liberal, while Fox is conservative. Citizen journalism allows people to see certain events in an impartial manner. It gives us a chance to form our own opinion about current issues instead of forming one for us. And most of all, it lets us see things from a point of view we might never have considered.

I’m interested to see what other technological advances will come in the future, and how they will affect citizen journalism and social media.



  1. alexklaes said,

    I really like that CNN released this application. It allows for a two way communication between the reporters and the viewers. This idea may lead to a higher amount of the population “caring” about news. Not only will ratings receive a boost, but people may start becoming more knowledgeable about what is going on in the world around them. In addition, having an increase in citizen journalism is fabulous. The application gives an outlet for people to express their many different opinions on current events. The Forth Estate may really become a driving force in policy change and shaping the world. Hopefully this application will become so popular that Blackberry will be forced to do something similar. That way I too can have real access to full time news. My only concern about this constant streaming and flipping of news stories is: will we, as a nation, become numb to news do to being overloaded?

  2. Claudine said,

    I normally get all of my news from CNN so I’m kind of familiar with the iReports. I think it’s really cool and useful for updates as the news is occuring (ex. 9/11-esque sort of pandemonium, or the election in Iraq) where it’s all very guerilla journalism and kind of a free for all for information. As far as people’s personal opinions and comments… lets face it they’re always pretty slanted, aggressive and biased.

    I’m going to check out the AP Stylebook app for my phone– cooool! I hadn’t heard of that one.

    I agree with what Alex said above how this constant streaming of news is going to numb us. Crazy to think how we’ll be getting the news by the time we’re all parents!

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