Undoubtedly 2011 has been an especially eventful year for news. We have seen the deaths of Osama bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi and Kim Jong-il, earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand, the Arab Spring, and riots in the UK as well as Occupy movements propping up all over the world.
What has really stuck out this year has been the prominence and growth of citizen journalism. Social media and its use by citizens to report their own news has, many times this year, provided valuable coverage where the mainstream media has failed.
The use of social media during the Arab Spring, which began in late 2010, has been well documented, and citizen journalism is considered by some to have come into its own during the ongoing unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. During the uprising in Egypt, Al-Jazeera’s citizen media service, Sharek, received 1,000 camera-phone video uploads. Riyaad Minty, head of the service said that