WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
My Citizen Journalism Takeaways
Video: Citizen Journalism by Paul Lewis
Social media is an avenue for ordinary people to feel empowered and accountable when speaking and putting out information about current events and issues. Citizen Journalism and seeing others participate in it is the nudge that people need to tell their side of the story. It also helps immensely that the internet is more accessible than ever. We already have it and our gadgets, so why not use it? Though not everyone has attained journalism’s ethics, that does not mean that they should not speak up. Journalism skills are skills, meaning anyone can learn them. As the different means of journalism continue to expand, even more people take on the challenge of becoming citizen journalists.
More often, it’s the louder voices that make it to the headlines. The issue with that is that loud does not automatically equal truth. Like the two stories mentioned in the TED Talk, the voices that journalists initially deemed credible were those of police authority. We later found out that said authorities fed lies to journalists to save their reputations. Many of those in power do not have the well being of others in consideration. But now, anyone can do journalism. Doing so provides different angles of an issue or event for mainstream media can pick up the pieces that may lead to the truth. The voices of the masses’ honest folk must be made heard to prevent a false narrative from forming.
Take caution. Social media is powerful but not only for its benefits to journalism mentioned in previous points. It is notorious for disinformation and hoaxes that damage practitioners’ careers and even everyday media consumers’ lives. We should all be careful but more so for Journalists when verifying and fact-checking sources from social media. The fact that social media is, as the speaker says, “like the wind” means that you can’t be 100% sure that it will reach the right people when you put out information. But we also can’t deny that stories like those of Jimmy Mubenga may have never found justice if it were not for social media and the citizens willing to speak up.