According to Gans-Boriskin, the decrease in professional journalists has left gaps for everyday people to fill. She said citizen journalists are documenting demonstrations and police interactions using social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram to share their insight.
She believes the lack of reporters and editors has led to a decrease in fact-checking, placing responsibility on the reader and viewer to do their own research to detect and eliminate any bias that may exist.
“It seems to me that we are drowning in misinformation and that the skill that everyone needs to have when they graduate college...is that ability to distinguish fact from fiction, and to evaluate that,” she said.
However, separating fact from fiction may be easier said than done.
“We are instinctively willing to fact check things with which we disagree so, I say do a gut check. If it feels right in your gut, that's when you fact check it because that's what we've got to overcome: our own biases.”
Citizen journalism is more likely to include biases because citizens are not confronted with the same executive pressures as journalists. The lack of fact-checking has propelled polarization within the country and has led to more biased sources, she said.