Citizen Journalism: Inform & Be Informed

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Image courtesy of Anton Mukhajir 

Speaking of citizen journalism, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

Freedom of expression?

Bravery?

Justice?

As defined by Glaser (2006), the concept of citizen journalism is for people without professional journalism background to create and disseminate information for others by using the Internet. Living in this age of technology, it is no stranger to retrieve news from the net. Personally, the world affairs that I know of are practically from social media accounts. An example, by Ingram (2015), was about “a story of a group of residents who live in one of the worst slums in Rio de Janeiro”. Neglected by the local press, the only way residents recorded the series of polices’ act of violence were through mobile phones. (Ingram 2015) This occurrence was published in New York Times, both online and magazine. (Ingram 2015)

Given the convenience and speed, users are free to share and exchange information happening around the world. The advantages of this situation are creating different perspectives and even gathering the community as a whole for a common cause. In other words, we are no longer passive audiences but actively seeking and exploring for answers and justifications.

While the Internet is merry go round, it can be impending danger too.

 

Since citizen journalism can be made by literally everyone, the chances of exploitation and malfeasance should not be underestimated. Back in 2008, just for the sake of spreading fake rumours, late Steve Jobs’ was falsely reported to have a heart attack. (Schonfeld 2008)

Therefore, it is vital that a particular individual, organization or institution to be responsible and uphold self-integrity for the actions made. We should also appreciate such privilege as we grow to be better-informed citizens today.

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