As a ‘traditional’ audience of the news, we would usually be expected to watch and consume what Legacy media has control over us seeing. These are called ‘gatekeepers’, and they used to have the largest control over information flows. Though with social media becoming increasingly useful for broadcasting stories and news, average citizens can now post their own ‘citizen journalism’ on online forums such as 4chan, Tumblr and Reddit. Gate watchers monitor these, and the public instead of professional journalists predominantly sources the information.
For example, I read the news regularly online from sources such as Illawarra Mercury and 7 News – but in the instance of issues happening overseas, I find information much more quick are reliable from my friends overseas who post on ‘forums’ on Tumblr. When I first heard about the attack in Orlando, my friend on Tumblr who lives in Florida posted it – it was not on the 7 News sites or on any local news sources. This is because audiences have now become more involved in ‘telling the story’ and getting the facts out before any gatekeepers have the opportunity to filter these crowd sourced facts.
Anon, (2016). [online] Available at: http://snurb.info/files/Gatewatching,%20Not%20Gatekeeping.pdf [Accessed 10 Oct. 2016].