The Internet Citizen Journalism.
What is meant by internet citizen journalism?
Internet journalism means online reporting by average citizen on occurrences happening around them.
The website STOMP, is the most popular website in Singapore which pays citizens for their news. And as a result, Stomp always carries updated sensational news from the heartlands of Singapore. It should noted a huge portion of the news reported here are not reported on main steam media in Singapore.
Nadine Jurrat of Open Society Foundation highlighted citizen journalism and its usefulness. She highlighted that in some repressive parts of the world, which is inaccessible to journalist, citizen journalism have flourished and this has helped the society concerned at large. (http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/reports/mapping-digital-media-citizen-journalism-and-internet last accessed 25/05/2013) However, she also highlights that some might feel that citizen journalism might erode the professional status of journalism.
Online reporting has seen the Arab spring takes place in a few countries. Citizen journalism via social networking sites have supplied the most graphic images of the crackdowns on protesters, broadcasted messages from hospitals looking for blood, rallied demonstrators and provided international dial-up numbers for those whose internet has been blocked. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/25/twitter-facebook-uprisings-arab-libya last accessed 25/05/2013)
I would quote the example of the ongoing Syrian civil war whereby there is great reliance on citizen journalism. This reliance has given rise to citizen journalists reporting from the ground on the ongoing war between the country’s pro- and anti-government forces. Many have been detained, tortured, and even killed while trying to tell the story to the world. The latest casualty is a 14-year-old boy who was killed while covering clashes between the government and rebel forces.
With this, it can deduce that citizen journalism is not about to end but to grow in more ways than one can imagine. There would be issues pertaining to ingenuity and legal boundaries, but these are challenges for authoritarians who are against the free flow of information to manage. Lastly, the rise of citizen journalism has given concern to many as they are mostly written by amateur writers which any fact checking and naming sources plus opinionated with defamatory statements. It can therefore be concluded that citizen journalism must not be taken at face value and research must be done before they are given any credibility.
How does it relate to my course goals?
The area of journalism has always fascinated me. I do hope that I would be able to contribute to this field in future especially if deployed in countries where the media is restricted by the government.
Useful links on citizen journalism:
- Nadine Jurrat. (2011). Mapping Digital Media: Citizen Journalism and the Internet. Available: http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/reports/mapping-digital-media-citizen-journalism-and-internet. Last accessed 25/05/2013.
- Rami Alhames . (2013). 14-year-old Citizen Journalist Killed Covering Clashes in Syria. Available: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2013/05/22/teen-citizen-journalist-killed-in-syria/. Last accessed 22/05/2013.
- Peter Beaumont. (2011). The truth about Twitter, Facebook and the uprisings in the Arab world. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/25/twitter-facebook-uprisings-arab-libya. Last accessed 25/05/2013.