THE BLOG
03/09/2013 07:57 BST | Updated 03/11/2013 05:12 GMT

People Powered Media

Congratulations! You are more powerful than Rupert Murdoch. Jeff Bezos may be the billionaire owner of Amazon but he's got nothing on you. Not, that is, according to the Guardian. In it's annual power survey of the British media landscape the Guardian has awarded "you" - the people - top billing, the most powerful force in British media today.

The award is well deserved. The citizen journalist is now accepted as an important ally to reporters but the people power influence over our media landscape goes well beyond people helping journalists with their stories. People are creating the stories, plugging the gaps that media are missing and even influencing policy in the upper management of the industry.

Cuts to local news mean that our courts are often not covered, so when a barrister called a thirteen year-old girl a "sexual predator" it only got a 100 word write-up on Court Newswire. That was until Jo, who had a similar experience and runs a Twitter account to highlight victim blaming, launched a petition. Within hours she had amassed thousands of signatures. Her campaign led the bulletins the next day. In years gone by a good court reporter would have got this story out to the local and national media but today it was all down to Jo and her efforts.

Back in April when some of the biggest cuts to welfare were introduced, mainstream newspapers were focused on covering the Government's set pieces, an interview with the minister in charge followed by the Chancellor's speech. It was Dominic Aversano's call for Iain Duncan Smith to live on £53 pounds a week that took the story to another level  and allowed journalists to report from those on the frontline of cuts.

And in the so-called silly season, when politicians take a summer break, it was people powered campaigns that kept the news bulletins ticking over. Caroline Criado-Perez became every guest booker's best friend as her campaign against Twitter trolls was the talk of the summer.

The people power revolution is not only influencing the content of our news it is also challenging policy at media organisations. Lucy Holmes' campaign to drop page three received a response from Rupert Murdoch himself and insiders hint that the page is being reviewed. Facebook was forced to revise its policies on acceptable content after a grassroots campaign, Twitter had to reviews its policies for reporting abuse and Lad Mags are also finding themselves in the firing line of this people powered revolution.

The internet gives people a similar tool set to journalists to get a story out, build an audience and put a target under pressure. People are no longer happy to be passive recipients of news, they want to change it. It has been the year for Jo, Dominic, Lucy, Caroline and the thousands that backed their campaigns or campaigns like them. So accept the award, you deserve it. Don't forget to thank your parents.