To run a blog about citizen media, one must first consider what is citizen media. In many ways it is media produced by amateurs. Much of the time citizen media is not for profit, but if someone running a YouTube channel puts ads on their videos for profit does that disqualify them? Citizen media is often distributed through different channels than is mainstream, because it is people without access to large media channels that are producing the content. That is until the mainstream picks it up, such is the case with viral videos and reporting on news events using footage recorded by people who witnessed the event. Popular sites that foster citizen media would be media sharing sites such as, YouTube, SoundCloud, blog sites, Twitter, and indymedia publications. These platforms are all relatively low barriers to entry (usually computer and internet access) and allows anyone with these tools to create and share their own content with the public.
This brings about the question of public spheres. Now, none of these platforms or channels for distributing citizen media are perfect. The ideal public sphere is a disputed point. Habermas argues that in a public sphere all people are completely equal and in this space public opinions are formed. Obviously complete equality and equal accessibility are practically impossible, and disregarding people’s social status and the unique perspectives and contributions resulting from this experiences is perhaps foolish. For example, a straight person’s input on queer issues should perhaps be a little less important, or a white person’s opinions on racism in North America is perhaps less valuable than the contributions of a black person. Not to suggest that people shouldn’t be able to contribute, but to perhaps at times give more weight to some voices than others.
Another question would be if these (mostly online) platforms for citizen media are truly public spheres. There are in fact barriers to access, and people with greater followings will therefore have more influence than others.
So, citizen media is media mostly by amateurs, spread mostly through online platforms with low barriers to entry. These platforms are not perfect, and they arnt exactly equal however many are close to some form of a public sphere. I would argue that these online platforms have given ordinary citizens greater opportunity to have a voice than ever before.