As journalists and editors come under increasing pressure from governments over what they report and how they report it, social media and other consumer-generated reports are becoming ever more important, according to a recent post at Gigaom.com.

The report cites the Press Freedom Index and the reported increasing threat to journalistic freedom as the driver for alternative reporting through social media. Naturally, the same forces that wish to muzzle journalists will resort to tactics designed to quash other forms of media as they develop.

Examples include Turkey trying to get content removed from Twitter and the attacks on Wikileaks by governments who see this site as a threat. Volunteer journalism is filling a void, according to this report, by enabling the dissemination of information without regulatory or agency scrutiny.

With this developing trend come important caveats. As noted in other articles this month, the veracity of citizen journalism is questionable at best. Additionally, one may expect some of these channels to become hijacked by the very power groups that are being reported on. It will be interesting to see if news verification services may help to sort reliable information from rumors as these sources of information become more predominant.