Citizen Journalists?

2 min readApr 16, 2024

Is That What We’re All Doing on These Platforms?

Posing as journalists? Encouraging people to read us rather than read those pay-for-the-privilege publications a.k.a newspapers? I ask because I’m now on two platforms, Medium and Substack. I’m likely ill informed or a bit naive but I didn’t’ appreciate that these platforms were crafted to steal the thunder from American media companies, newspapers and magazines, that have been disappointing us for years. We are suspicious. We question their motivations. We wonder where the real reporters went. Like many, am hugely disappointed in the performance of newspapers that seem to have sold their reliability for clicks and likes. But until quite recently, I did not know that sites like this one serve to provide what newspapers historically have, the news.

Here’s my quandary: Do writers on these platforms consider themselves and the stories they write real journalism? If so, by what measure? I have no need to defend traditional journalism. It’s a mess and not sure we will ever return to that time when we picked up a newspaper to read our news or turned on the six o’clock news to hear the latest. But that doesn’t mean that I think the ga-zillion writers now writing volumes out here are any more reliable.

So I’m a bit confused about the intention of these platforms. Are you here to be a citizen journalist or here to craft blogs you think your tribe of readers might dig?

I recognize that journalism today is broken but I don’t assume that any of these platforms will fix it. These sites are not substitutes and readers should be careful what they take away from any writer’s prose out here.

We live in a time of distrust and we have good reason. For this writer/citizen, my distrust extends to writers on these platforms writing content that may or may not be reliable, too.

The door swings both ways. Doesn’t it?




Writer/Author/WorkshopLeader @ SoCa.WritersConf. & SantaBarbaraWritersConf, I&T: @writersmama , Psych RN,MSN