Literature of argument is that social media has democratized

Literature reviewed shows that most scholars believe
that social media is impacting negatively on the practice of journalism. These
scholars mainly argue from a technophobic stand and think social media has
brought along many changes to the practice of journalism thereby undermining
the work of journalists. Their arguments point out the easy-to-use web publishing tools, popularization
of social media, increasingly powerful mobile devices as well as the active
online audience that is actively involved in the creation and circulation of
news and information. In a 2003 report, New Directions for News argued that
journalism found itself at an unusual moment in history where its dominance as the
gatekeeper of the news is threatened not just by new technology and competitors
but, possibly, by the audience it served (Rosen, 2005).  Orville Schell, of the University of
California at Berkeley’s journalism school, further acknowledged the impact of
the audience on journalism.  He noted
that the Roman Empire of the mass media was breaking up, and the media was
entering an almost-feudal period where there will be many more struggles of
power and influence (Rosen, 2005).                                                                          One
line of argument is that social media has democratized the media, therefore,
challenging the control of traditional news media and its journalists. Scholars
claim that by doing so, social media was forcing journalists into a precarious
position where they no longer control the interpretation of events and
ultimately what is published. Bowman and Willis (2003)
argue that “a democratized media challenges the notion of the institutional
press as the exclusive, privileged, trusted informed intermediary of the news”
(p. 47). Gillmor (2004) states that “the communication network itself will be a medium for everyone’s voice,
not just the few who can afford to buy multimillion-dollar printing presses,
launch satellites, or win the government’s permission to squat on the public’s
airwaves” (p. xiii).  Bowman and Willis
(2003) also
maintain that while social media platforms are unlikely to replace traditional
media as primary intermediaries quickly, they were becoming valued news outlets
that direct their readers to information of interest and help them filter,
simplify and clarify news.  As a result
of this journalists are no longer in control of the news agenda as social media
has empowered ordinary people to be outright producers of news. A special
report on the news industry in the Economist (2011) acknowledges this stating,
“thanks to the rise of social media, news is no longer gathered exclusively by
reporters and turned into a story but emerges from an ecosystem in which
journalists, sources, readers and viewers exchange information.” This means
that in the social media era people no longer rely solely on journalists for their view
on the world.