While a handful of established groups shoulder the responsibility of holding news and media organisations to account, the internet has fueled the growth of the individual online watchdog, according to an interesting post on the European Journalism Centre website.
Author Jamie Thunder, an Investigative Journalism MA student at City University uses several examples to illustrate the biggest media bloggers within the online community, such as Tabloid Watch, Five Chinese Crackers, Angry Mob and Enemies of Reason.
‘Watchdog’ groups are nothing new to the media. But these blogs are different. There’s no unifying political ideology, and they’re maintained alongside full-time jobs. They’re not run by media theorists or political activists – just individuals stirred to action by the daily iniquities of the press.
He says that while they accept their impact on the papers themselves will be minimal, it’s the online “groundswell” among readers which is where their power lies.
We all know the media landscape is shifting, and shifting fast – paywalls, user-generated content, and Wikileaks are just three recent developments. Yet little has been said about the increasing ability for non-journalists to analyse and publicise the press’s problems (…) And as long as newspapers keep misbehaving, they’re not going away.