Citizen journalism is the news medium of the 21st century, as ordinary people around the world record news as it happens, using their cell phones and laptops, and have it published on the global network within minutes.
At the same time, citizens of countries with state-run media are using their ability to blog over the Internet to pursue freedom of expression that is otherwise denied them.
The technology that allows people anywhere to share what's happening via the mass medium of the Internet has opened new cans of worms for authorities.
In the UK, a local newspaper's Web site ran video images children misbehaving in class. The clip had been filmed by a classmate using a cell phone and the images uploaded to the newspaper.
However, the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) upheld a complaint from the school that the paper didn't have permission to use the images.
According to The Independent, PCC chairman Sir Christopher Meyer commented that "editorial information in the digital age – regardless of the format in which it is delivered – will be subject to the highest professional standards overseen by the commission."
In other words, new-age media was subject to the same rules as traditional media.
But the PCC and, by association, similar bodies in other countries – like our own Press Ombudsman – only exercises control over the mainstream "traditional" media.
The message from the ruling appears to be an attempt to lift traditional media above the uncontrolled and unpoliced mass medium of the Internet, ensuring that readers can, in fact, trust what they read in the newspapers.
Meanwhile, China is busy grappling with the same medium – but from the other side, so to speak.
With the country's media run by the state, the Internet has emerged as a way for citizens to tell a version of the truth that the rest of the world frequently doesn't get to see.
Because of the controls on freedom of expression, Chinese bloggers have sought safety in anonymity. The state has been trying to enforce legislation that bloggers have to reveal their real identities – a move that has been staunchly resisted.
Today, in what is being hailed as a victory for freedom of the press and expression, the government has backed down. It now encourages bloggers to provide their real names and Chinese blog service providers have agreed to sign a self-discipline pledge.
China boasts 137-million online users, the world's second-biggest population of internet users in the world. There are about 30-million registered bloggers, with about 100-million regular readers.