From Citizen Journalism to Collective Intelligence


In today’s technological era, society has become largely immersed in a dialogic media landscape, whereby media content is interactively produced and shared by many individuals. This reflects the participatory culture of the 21st century as the roles of media content audiences have changed. Consumers are no longer passive who simply receive the message; consumers are now active as they produce, create, distribute, discuss and receive the message. This user created content has essentially challenged and reconfigured the established traditional boundaries between media content production, its rules and its logistics.

This culture of participation and produsage has led to the new modern phenomenon of citizen journalismNow, ordinary citizens have the power to share news instantaneously at the tip of their fingertips. Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have all made it easier to share content across the internet. For example, events such as Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring were all instigated through social media.

Traditional news broadcasters have also recognised the changing patterns and have thus embraced this participatory culture. For example, after the activity of citizen journalists during the 2004 tsunami and the 2005 London Bombings, in 2006 CNN launched its iReport initiative which allows people from across the globe to share and publish stories, pictures, videos and breaking news in one space. This demonstrates the way in which CNN relies on collective intelligence to share news stories. As Pierre Levy notes, when we combine and collaborate the knowledge of all individuals, we can have a greater understanding on the issues involved. 

Similarly, the virtual world of Second Life is designed to be non-linear and relies on collective intelligence for expansion. The world is focused on providing an enjoyable user-generated, community-driven experience. Second Life users collaborate and share ideas and content to help develop the online virtual world. Almost all the objects in Second Life are created and modified by users. Thus while platform developer, Linden Lab, provided the online space, Second Life users have used their own imaginations to essentially create, dictate, generate and maintain their own unique online world.

Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 1.08.08 pm

Second Life users use their creative imaginations and skills to create beautiful worlds.



CNN 2014, ‘CNN iReport’, CNN iReport, viewed 10 April 2014 <>

Nielsen, N 2010, ‘“Collective Intelligence”, by Pierre Levy’, Michael Nielsen, 23 May, viewed 10 April 2014 <>.


Business Objects 2007, Collective Intelligence — The Vision, video, YouTube, 29 May, viewed 10 April 2014 <>.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s