Broadening Possibilities with Citizen Journalism through Social Media
There is no doubt that we have already entered a new age of technology in terms of information dissemination, and Social Media has played a significant role in that aspect. Because of this, Journalism is increasingly going through a shift, and Paul Lewis opened this up on his TEDx talk entitled Citizen Journalism, and after watching, I had jotted down three key takeaways.
Consumers to Co-producers
The rise of digital and mobile technologies has changed the consumption of news. It made it possible for people to take an active role from a passive consumer of news. Through social media, people have gone more engaged in reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information easily. Another factor of this is how the internet began to overtake traditional media as sources of news that increased participatory journalism. Just as Paul Lewis had experienced in investigating cases with the help of social networking sites, it was easier for him to find witnesses and collaborate.
A New Layer of Accountability
Watching the two cases that Paul Lewis investigated have made me realize how citizen journalism and social media work together for transparency. He said that these created a new layer of accountability in our world. This made me question how many of these kinds of cases where truth is being stretched out, and injustice happen even before social media existed. How many of these are we not aware of, and what could we have prevented.
Citizen journalism through social media can indeed open up countless opportunities, not least in the area of user-generated news. This comes with responsibility, and we should always be thinking critically with every news and information we consume and produce. As citizen journalists, you are to replicate the values, responsibility, and ethics of traditional journalism.
“If you encounter something that you believe is problematic, that disturbs you, that concerns you, an injustice of some kind, something that just doesn’t feel quite right, then why not witness it, record it and share it? That process of witnessing, recording, and sharing is journalism, and we could all do it.” — Paul Lewis
Paul Lewis had pointed out that the theme of the conference is, “Why not?” — Why not utilize this technology which massively broadens the boundaries of what’s possible? This encouraged me to have an active role as part of our society, and I hoped it encouraged you too because, why not? It is all towards the greater good; for justice, social change, and truth. That is citizen journalism through social media. Let’s just call it netizen journalism.