Recently in MJD219, we were taught about using user-generated content in our work. There are several things that are good about doing this, as well as several things that are not good about doing this.
Like I had previously stated, there are many benefits to using user-generated content in your work. For instance, you are making a connection with your audience, and it is a good way to find out more local information. You can use the knowledge that the people have of what is going on, so that if you cannot physically get out, you can have a member of your audience act as a field guide for you.They take pictures a lot of the time, as well as having information that reporters cannot always get immediately. You want to lead a conversation with the audience, but you also want them to interact as well.
However, just as there are good ways to use user-generated content, there are also bad ways. The first is that you do not always know if the information that you are getting is correct. One of the things that often happens when using user-generated content is that pictures or information is sent around a vast network of people very fast. The people themselves trust that this is true information and post it immediately, but you as the reporter have to make sure that it is factual before posting because you have a reputation. One of the things that we as reporters are encouraged to do is to seek out the original poster of the pictures or the information and find out more about the posting, rather than just what we are hearing from others. If you do not know where something is from or cannot prove that it is factual, the responsible thing to do is to not post it at all.
More information can be found in the above links if you would like to continue reading about this.
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