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Published by Kevin O'Keefe, CEO & Founder of LexBlog

Citizen Journalism Replaces Newspapers in School Walkout

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The Denver Post announced the layoff of 30 reporters and editors this afternoon. The layoff represents a third of the Post’s staff and the fourth major layoff in three plus years.

It’s going to be impossible for the Post to continue covering what they have.

It’s not merely a question of being able to cover what you have in the past, there’s a real question of whether newspapers as large as the Denver Post will survive at all.

Seattle’s second paper, the Post Intelligencer is long gone – and so are any number of other major metro’s. Newspaper circulation, on a steep decline, is approaching circulation levels of the 1930’s.

The closing of newspapers does not mean the end of meaningful news. The news may even be better.

News is really what someone tells us – that’s it.

When the means of capturing and reporting the news was in the hands of the few — newspapers, radio, television — we got our news from a few sources.

That’s changed with smartphones, laptops, blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and more.

If you’re over 65 you may watch news on television and read it in newspapers. Not those thirty or forty and younger. In fact, they’re capturing and reporting the news on a smartphone in addition to watching it on a smartphone.

Look at today’s National School Walkout, covered, reported and viewed by millions on Twitter — including the only student who walked out his school, a young black man, whose Twitter video has been viewed by 3.1 million people and counting.

https://twitter.com/JamilesLartey/status/973923222621163520

Facebook was used by parents and students throughout today to share news of the wakout in their town. The news was shared on Facebook pages and across Facebook groups for schools, towns and cities. It’s a safe bet more parents received reports of the walkout from Facebook than local television or newspapers.

Little question the news today spread faster with more detail and emotion than newspapers and television stations could equal. National and local news will even call on citizen journalist’s tweets for pictures and video footage of the walkout to include in their own coverage.

Yes, newspapers are on the decline — and yes, we’ll lose something if they all but disappear. But citizen journalism may provide us with something better.