Picture this, an overseas event happens and within minutes of it occurring there are thousands of blogs, videos, photos and a hashtag stemming from this same event all with different points of views.  This is all before a Newspaper can even come close to a day before printing. These are the effects of distributed long tail content that are threatening legacy journalism and media because they simply can not cater for the space and time involved in the physical scalability.

As Teodor (2015) states that in a free content environment curators and aggregators are the valued product. WE are ordinary people with our devices filming, starting the conversation and hashtags and utilizing the platforms. In relation to citizen journalism in the new distributed media network the flow of information is far more disperse compared to traditional media. Bruns (2009) argues ‘the conventional models of media production, distribution, and consumption are no longer relevant’. This is evident in the way citizens curate content in the form of a ‘public record’ on platforms such as Twitter (Johnson S, 2009). Citizen journalism and the flow of information is distributed. We are embracing a technologically advanced information distribution that allows us to explore the evolving nature of the internet. This limitless nature is shown in the article ‘how can journalists use virtual reality to tell stories?’ Which explains new ways for journalists to utilise head mounted displays to communicate information.

This distributed media network has never been seen before in the whole of humanity. It is a new way of consuming media that conventional forms of media have no way of competing with. Not only in terms of scaling up but in the way it opposes the gatekeeping model; whereby industrial media filters ‘all news that is fit to print’ (NYT). Johnson (2009) states the new model achieves ‘news diversity and polarization at the same time: your networked front page will be more eclectic than any traditional-newspaper front page, but political partisans looking to enhance their own private echo chamber will be able to tune out opposing viewpoints more easily’. This is evident in the success of the 2015 hashtag #lovewins that started with this simple Tweet by Obama.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 8.29.43 pm

Following this one Tweet there were 35,000 tweets sent per minute and if that doesn’t put the power of the long tail effect into perspective, I don’t know what will.

If you’re interested in putting the power of new media into perspective watch this video. ‘You’re able to have these multidirectional conversations, you’re not just broadcasting, you’re there in the middle of it’.

Founders of Twitter on the power of social media


Johnson, S. (2009). How Twitter Will Change The Way We Live. TimeFile

Bruns, A. (2009) ‘News Blogs and Citizen Journalism: New Directions for e-Journalism’File



  1. The point about the value of the aggregated content by users is an interesting one, and it’s sparked thought into how long until our citizen journalistic input is recognised. As you point out we are so easily immersed in the world of sharing news and events, and while this is on the rise, the use of this by credible angenices follows suit. This article looks at perhaps payments and recognition of the field citizen journalist ( ) and goes on to detail how “BBC News has perhaps gone furthest, actively seeking out witness content and incorporating it into its news products.” Very conceptually engaging idea about how the virtual reality can be used for yet another purpose and give even faster response to news and events around the globe, interesting to see if that eventuates into a common distribution method in the future! Lastly the Obama tweet example highlighted your point about the long tail effect, with astonishing figures following it. The hashtag has also been a mode of reconciliation, reflection and participation in events which have raised public awareness, such as #i’llridewithyou and memorials such as #911DAY
    Cheers, Sam


  2. Hi Remy! The instantaneity of communication inherent in the ecology of digital communication networks has certainly had an enormous impact on the legacy media. In particular, Twitter has revolutionized the way we disseminate breaking news and important information. Unlike the time and labour involved in producing a newspaper or TV news report, Tweets can be instantly broadcast to a global network. Whilst this sounds idyllic, the volume of information and the speed at which it is distributed on Twitter can have extremely negative consequences, especially if the information is incorrect or meaningless. Take for example the Ebola crisis in West Africa. According to this article ( the top Twitter hashtags about Ebola were not from official or authorative sources, meaning that the potential for the spread of misinformation was very real.

    Although some may argue that Twitter is a largely unreliable source for news due to the lack of gatekeepers, the openness of the platform and its incredibly fast feedback loop means that mistakes can be corrected by other users as they happen eg. “all bugs are trivial.” Therefore, I think that whilst the debate about Twitter’s reliability as a news source will undoubtedly be ongoing, as the platform grows and attracts more users its credibility will increase.


  3. Well researched blog post and great that you referenced to some of your own examples that you found!
    My brief critiques is that it goes far beyond the 150 word limit. I also don’t see a remediation?

    You mentioned conventional forms of media have no way of competing with distributed media forms. Your post makes me wonder what the future of traditional journalism is. Any interesting conversation about this issues can be found here – It seems like traditional media companies are going to have to change and adapt to the new digital technologies in order to reengage their audience.


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