Citizen Journalism

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  • Topic: Citizen journalism, Mass media, Media democracy
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  • Published : May 22, 2011
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I.3.1 The definition of Citizen Journalism
Citizen journalism, can be defined as a community news and informationshared online and/or in print. The content is generated by users and readers. It can betext / blogs, digital storytelling, images, audio file, podcasting or video. Feedback anddiscussion on issues raised is received in the same way.2 Citizen journalism is a form of citizen media - where individuals write and orcomment on issues they feel are left out of the mainstream media. Many issuesaddressed in citizen journalism tend to be covered in a superficial way by themainstream media3. Mark Glaser, in his article, explains the main idea of the citizen journalism.The idea behind citizen journalism is that people without professional journalismtraining can use the tools of modern technology and the global distribution of theinternet to create, augment or fact-check media on their own or in collaboration withothers4. From some of the explanation above, we could say that citizen journalism is aform of citizen media, where the news and information is generated by users andreaders, and all kind of people have the right to make a news themselves I.3.2 Characteristics of Citizen Journalism

The press, or journalism, is often referred to as the fourth estate – a necessarycomponent that acts as the watchdog for a healthy democracy. This is a hugeresponsibility, indicative of the important and integral role that journalism plays inour society. According to Michael Schudson, journalism is “the business of a set ofinstitutions that publicizes periodically (usually daily) information and commentaryon contemporary affairs, normally presented as true and sincere, to a dispersed andanonymous audience so as to publicly include the audience in a discourse taken to bepublicly important.”5 There is lot of form of citizen journalism, such as blog, twitter, facebook,some web that allows participatory comment and article submission, eyewitnessprograms and so on.Lot of the media for citizen journalism is web and technologybased.This is caused, perhaps, because the media for the citizen journalismdevelopedmassively in the era of the internet, where the right to speech meet theability to speech.In internet, everybody can talk everything, and that is why citizenjournalism increasing rapidly.

Media, have some role in the system.Media could be the catalyst betweenstate and society.Media could be the catalyst that ease the connection between thestate and society.First, we see themedia as the connector between the society andthe state.Media could be one that society use to pass their aspiration to the state.However, public opinion holds important positions in the country, especially indemocratic country.In democratic country, public opinion could be some cause forstate’s policy.With the media as the catalyst, the connection between state andsociety could be easier and finally state become what and how society wants it. Citizen journalism as a tool of transmitting information gives many benefits tothe society. It spreads news and information effectively and easily. In Iran’s case thegreat flood of information helped the team decipher content and identify reliableinformation.10 Iranian twitter movement can cover up ‘uncover’ story, it also broadencoverage area. It also support the mainstream media to catch news and messages. InIran’s election case, there was a story about Neda Agha-Soltan, a young Iranian woman who was killed during an anti-government protest in Tehran.Within hours, graphic scenes showing her final seconds of life dominated newspapers andbulletins over the world. Yet this moment wasn't recorded by a professional journalistworking for a big news organization. Instead, a regular bystander captured thepowerful footage and uploaded it online.11 Mainstream media could not catch thenews directly because of several reasons. Foreign journalists first had to get specialpress cards and were closely monitored, then on the Tuesday following...
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