Media Essays - Media Citizen Journalist

News Citizen Journalist


We stay in a time of information overload: it needs no groundbreaking evaluation to establish this. World is bombarded out of every angle with news: Newspapers; tv; streaming information services on the web and independent websites compiled by 'citizen' journalist. This worldwide change has happened over the course of a minute timescale.

Since the dawn of journalism until very recently, there were always a finite volume of news sources. Within the 80's there were ten UK dailies, and three programs which contained reports bulletins. By 1998, at the dawn of online media coverage, articles were per day old and experienced the disadvantage of not being specifically written as an internet medium. Sites were kept up to date once a day, and breaking reports would sometimes be included in a small news ticker at most.

If we have been to use September 11th as a comparative vantage point, establish close to the present and catastrophic at an internationally level, the range of the change within the news headlines becomes noticeable.

The 7/11 bombings in the us were viewed in Britain on five terrestrial tv channels, three dedicated information channels (BBC Media 24, Sky Media and ITV Reports), and media services such as Reuters, CNBC and Bloomberg provided continuous information updates. This does not even try to cover the many other news options surrounding the world whose concentrate was to cover this tragic event night and day. THE WEB was saturated with theories, creditable news testimonies and speculation. The Guardian and The New York Times at that time provided online coverage, and since that time nearly every news channel is rolling out online information services.

For the very first time everyone was with the capacity of getting their view out there: The Internet allowed visitors to post their views, reveal their sadness and grow theories of conspiracy as could do not have been done before.

On the 7th July bombings in London BBC 1 and ITV1 possessed coverage completely uninterrupted until 7pm. Materials included large amounts of footage submitted by the public, including videos and pictures taken on camera mobile phones.

News now trips at light swiftness. The spaces between major information stories, which grab the public's attention, are rarely long enough to permit absorption of the storyplot, let alone understanding any increased sense of context within which it could lie.

The Internet itself is growing at an enormous and uncontrollable rate. Matching to Eric Schmidt, chief executive of Yahoo, the search engine would need another three hundred years to successfully index the five million terabytes of data it is approximated the internet now contains. Yahoo has been indexing information for the last seven years, and has managed to index somewhere in the region of a hundred and seventy million terabytes.

Statement of subject

Because it has never been easier for individuals to broadcast their impression, the split between what's and isn't considered to be 'journalism' is being narrowed. The energy to be printed has been long to anyone who may wish to take it: Words no longer need to be passed via an editorial filter; instead the general public can transmit their thoughts through blogs, reviews and their own webpages.

There are countless online message boards and e-zines where the public can post their own work, and therefore there are no standard standards because were no longer linked with words entwined in the ethos of a huge corporation. For the average person, when it comes which will get their word out, things have never been better, and the same applies to music, filmmaking and photography. To be released no longer certifies a vocational integrity.

In my dissertation I will assess the ever more important role of resident journalist, and the effect of new multimedia on independent reporting. Within an article in the Guardian on the 12th November 2007, David Leigh points out that our key points are being degraded through the lack of discrimination we exert over resources. "Some voices tend to be more creditable than others. . . a called source is better than an anonymous pamphleteer".

Essentially I wish to assess if the reporter is a dying kinds, overrun by 'citizen journalist', and in what areas a feeling of vocationally centered journalistic integrity will prevail and tolerate the peripeteia occurring in the media. Reporting staffs are being slice globally, with more and even more reporters heading freelance. Investigative journalism is on the decrease, and citizens are contributing to more stories than previously.

Leigh estimates a BBC Radio 4 interview where John Simpson, the BBC's experienced international information correspondent was asked if all news corporations were cutting back. He confirmed that in his thoughts and opinions reporters were under real menace, and were not needed nowadays, "We just want people's thoughts about what's happened, not the facts". In the article Leigh quotes Utmost Hastings, the ex-editor of the Daily Telegraph, who says that "all sorts of areas of the world are now thought to be too monotonous to keep a correspondent there. The commentariat has taken over. "

Explanation of research

Restrictions of study

The issue I am researching is very wide, and varies quite definitely form destination to place. The role of citizen journalist continues to be expanding and maturing. The public are only now completely realising the consequences of independent reporting. Gleam psychological dimensions that is continually changing: Folks are only now beginning to trust articles that not come from the larger media corporations.

Research questions and hypothesis

I need to check public broadcasting benchmarks, to see what mechanisms are in destination to stop the news of larger organizations turning completely into infotainment. I need to determine how much larger news corporations rely on spin departments and press offices for their information, and exactly how much analysis is completed independently.

At the moment people count on news firms for objective reports, and have a tendency to read the work of citizen journalist for another thoughts and opinions. My hypothesis is that of this will eventually invert, and the sole form of genuine and comprehensive reporting will in actuality be that of resident journalist.

Definition of key terms

In order to understand this essay, the definition of the word 'resident journalist' must be clarified. There's been much debate over this theme, and much bafflement has ensued.

The Internet is the very best medium by which the general public can dynamically post responses, leave ideas after news experiences and feel a primary level of interactivity with their news. Although it would seem that this would lead to 'vandalism', sites such as Wikipedia have confirmed that there are systems effective at minimising this sort of input, and I'll verify this in more detail later.

But the ability to simply broadcast thoughts and opinions isn't, nor has it ever been 'journalism'. Audiences have always been harnessed in to the process of information making, if the input may maintain the form of words to the editor or a clip of video phone footage. Despite the fact that during the 7/7 London bombings contributed video was used, general population contributions have always been vital to journalists.

It is easy to forget that when Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963, Abraham Zapruder, a member of the public who got the best shot of the assassination, shot the video footage seen throughout the world. It was his film that was used by analysts to determine from where the president was assassinated.

But recently the public have been recruited into the news making process at a much greater level. People are intrigued by people, and want to see the experience of others, to humanize their reports testimonies. Editors and manufacturers embed reviews and experience from participants of the general public into news tales to provide them a more personal dimension. This is the resident as an addition to a information story.

At a larger level of connection, citizens can help record in a 'participatory' manner, whereby they donate to a story in the field of their expertise. Their knowledge or assistance is framed within the journalist's context. The capability to publish a soft draft of a story on the Internet has managed to get easier for journalists to get help from the public to aid a tale.

Citizen Journalists are all too often mistaken for eyewitnesses armoured with new technology. In wake of the 7/7 bombings, people are quick to label the footage and pictures published by participants of the public as the task of 'citizen journalist'. But I really believe 'citizen journalism' requires the bypassing of the commercial media system completely.

This is the only path for reporting never to contain the plan of a huge corporation. It could be argued that reporting can never be truly without a personal agenda, but a company will inevitably be entwined in a political agenda.

Citizen Journalist is a term used to describe the actions of amateurs taking it upon themselves to article on subjects in an accurate, and indie manner. It isn't to be lost with 'participatory journalism', where the public are being used as options.

Another relevant term is "Infotainment", which is actually a slang term used to describe information given the slant of entertainment.

A conclusion of what's to follow

I will determine the liberation technological advance has designed for 'citizen journalist', including beneficial and damaging effects on information production all together. I want to see whether there exists room for both professional and resident journalists and whether traditional reporters are a dying varieties. Using circumstance studies I will analyse where stories written by resident journalist may well not have been possible in a larger, corporate journalistic context, and likewise, where reporting would not be possible without the resources open to a larger media corporation. As well as this I will analyse the trends of corporate news, and asses if the very tasks of citizen journalist and media by larger organizations will invert: with serious experiences being written by the resident journalist while commercial news is almost entirely reduced to infotainment.

Literature review

This topic is pertinent because it influences every one of the information we receive. The pushes of resource and demand work seriously on the corporate news system, and therefore are debasing the amount of our news. Citizen journalist on the other palm, is relatively clear of such forces, and even more in a position to write for market audiences. There is a new freedom to write passionately about non-mainstream issues, with the opportunity of an internationally audience.

When papers first came into blood circulation, in 15th century German and Flemish expresses, they lacked the same institutionalized mother nature that they do today. It had been the dawn of the professional revolution and the creation of large cities, the cheapening costs involved in mass printing and the expansion of literacy rates provided the market for newspaper publishers in the nineteenth century. Then advertisers realized the real prospect of marketing to the ever growing human population of newspaper readers, and the expenses of newspapers transpired even further.

The commercial model first took over the Hollywood film industry in 1914, and then the movie distribution system. By 1920 radio got become corporate, and by 1950's tv set had followed suit. All varieties of media were structured in "accordance with corporate industrial logic".

Government controlled media began to occur in many parts of less developed countries. In Africa and Asia, where vitality had been handed over to those whom the departing colonial powers were preferred with dealing with. These folks were 'clones' of the ruling elite who possessed once colonised them. Hence the recently emerging media were staffed by the most Westernised natives. THE BRAND NEW World Information Order (NWIO) was made to justify 'development journalism'.

The ethos of the organization encouraged express control of the multimedia in order to 'teach' and develop the particular local populations, and in in this particular line of considering the training system in expanding countries was also shifted into the state run sphere. As Louw points out, Communist control of the advertising was justified through the same type of argument.

"In Afro-Asia 'education' and 'development' were managerial tools where ruling elites (forcibly?) Westernised their populations, thereby increasing the amounts of their own European 'tribe'". (p. 43)

One of the very most relevant areas of the Internet, is the creation of an accessible worldwide community that endangers such political mechanisms of control. While once people's perceptions of life itself were quite definitely narrowed by the culture in which they lived, now people from across the world have an interface with that they can talk.

The internet has advanced: third world countries, with their antiquated and even non existent mobile lines missed from the first generation of the internet. But as technology developed, fibre optic lines and broadband changed the traditional means of plugging in, and third-world countries, without existing infrastructure to replace and facilitated with cheap labour costs, have quickly linked themselves in.

The mobile phone revolution was similar: Five years ago in India if you wished to make an International call you'd to call an operator and e book it in. You'll then wait around by the phone for an hour or two, and sooner or later the operator would call you back and hook up you. Now every Indian with a rooftop over their head also offers a mobile. That is an unbelievable trend in a country which frequently still has power cuts, houses immense poverty and still has a massively unreliable wired mobile phone network. Not surprisingly the prevalence of a mass mobile phone culture took place there even before America had abandoned their two-way.

Having result from an Indian background, and with most of my family presently residing there including my fifteen-year-old sister, I've visited the country at least once a year for the last twenty years. I am persistently astonished by the significant changes that happen there in one year to another, but these are factors associated with matters of current economic climate and fiscal development. Probably the most dominant changes have happened, in my opinion, because the Internet and the mass availability of American cable programs.

The standardization of sociable beliefs simply through watching American cable television is tremendous, and the impact on the younger generation is considerable when in contrast to their parents. A concern, which is broadly overlooked in more developed european countries, is the dominance of their media across the world, and having less correspondence between them and local ethnicities. The labor and birth of citizen journalist has empowered many people in less developed countries.

But spatial restrictions have been eroded by technology, distance has been tamed and while news once took a few months or even years to visit, today it trips in the blink of an eyes. Because of this the relevance of political borders, and the concept of culture and country is becoming more peripheral. The importance of the citizen as a reporter, the value of hyper-local reports and the democratic mother nature of the internet as tool for appearance is quickly becoming very helpful.

In part scheduled to these concerns authoritarian claims such as China, Cuba and Iran have been forced into leaving their isolation, both ideologically and culturally, and people are aware of the writing of journalists not within the borders of their own, manipulated domains.

Monroe Price asked the question "Can a nation condition survive in a world where the limitations of culture, beliefs and creativeness do not (1995: 236). Region state governments have survived and, McNair argues in 'Cultural Chaos', they'll continue to achieve this task. He argues that they can bring into conflict nation says with conflicting ideologies.

A brief account of the issues highly relevant to the topic

The creation of the press department in any company or political organization is an integral factor. Journalists rely increasingly more n the information fed to them by the very people they want to reveal. *EXPAND

"What is clear is the fact that there will be some individuals or groups attempting to control meaning. Underpinning this is a competition over resources (materials, cultural and position). Our life its likely that place by the public guidelines facilitating or hindering our access to such resources" (p25 The Mass media and Cultural Development - Eric Louw, 2001)

Technological advancements have resulted in a massive, global, spatial dissolution, and are becoming increasingly more highly relevant to our lives. This enablement of sociable realization through geographical space is a concept being dissolved through the progression of technology. Technology affects just how we write, the footage we can record to accompany our testimonies, and our potential to access the news headlines itself. It's the growth of technology which has permit the creation of a citizen journalist in the first place.

The world gets smaller, and the amelioration of communicative probable is bringing humans closer together. Because the 1980's, and even more specifically with the onslaught of 'live' news coverage that CNN brought to the Gulf Conflict in 1991, a fresh sense of immediacy has been taken to the news headlines.

There is a new sense of contribution, and interactivity that has been taken to broadcasting and the news headlines in general, with broadcasts becoming more strong. We can be transported from the isolation of our domestic environments to the parochialism of the news environment we are watching.

Through news coverage, which include the horror of individual catastrophe, society is now more and more disengaged with the framework of what it witnesses. People don't possess enough time between major world situations to become fully familiar with the framework of any particular situation. Broadcasters would rather keep viewers employed with sensational footage, than risk loosing followers with a contextual record which could be regarded more 'uninteresting'.

As a result people feel that there are way too many events to care about any at all, and more importantly there is a widespread concern that we are essentially powerless to do anything about any of it. Our press has the freedom to totally articulate the injustices of today, but tomorrow there will be new injustices.

When the format of the news we are at the mercy of is too consistent and perpetual to never expect not to be shocked with a front page or a top story on a regular basis, we have no choice apart from to be emotionally indifferent. McNair identifies us as having 'become fatigued by the proximity of individual anguish' (pg 7, Ethnical Chaos). The News businesses, governed by the same ideas of resource and demand as any other capitalist institutions, have advertency transformed our round the clock reports coverage into a kind of entertainment. . . of 'infotainment'.

One of the primary book I am going to check out is "We the Press: Grassroots journalism, by people, for the individuals", by Dan Gillmore. "We the Press" inspects the blogging sensation, and much more specifically analyses the partnership between the readers and makers of news.

Gillmor acknowledges that blogging continues to be in an early on level of development, which in many respects professional journalists are not only behind the innovations occurring in news production, but attempting to keep up. He goes on to dispute that institutionalized journalism needs a new model of conduct to become able to "fight the nice fights".

I are also looking at Cultural Chaos: Journalism, news and ability in a globalised world by Brian McNair. He pulls on good examples from the War on Terror, the invasion of Iraq, Hurricane Katrina and the London Underground bombings to examine the relationship between journalism and electric power in the digital time. McNair explores the geographic and ethnic breakdown-taking place as provoked by the digital era. He examines the impact of the digital get older on journalism the effects it includes in creating a worldwide culture.

There is a dread among press specialists that the surge of 'citizen journalist' will eclipse the role of the professional journalist. The biggest, and most universal fear is a public reliance on the info provided by citizen journalist will lack the precision and "objectivity" of the bigger corporation.

Citizen journalists on the other hand feel that the professional marketing lack the enthusiasm or the flexibility to report as accurately or incisively as them. Among the advantages of citizen journalism would be that the massive quantity of amateur writers overshadows the relatively few professional journalists. When people can make what to reveal, it is guaranteed that they will do so with enthusiasm. Their articles will be explored; it could be argued, with higher dedication. Citizen journalist are ruled by no sense of hierarchy; as an organization citizen journalist can use a skill set appropriate to a task.

However, a journalist is merely meant to be a vehicle by which to convey a note. Will this influx of citizen journalism actually diminish objectivity? At least with the mainstream multimedia the public can have an understanding of the framework of the newspaper in which thy read their article. Whenever a different writer, creates every article with no editor to moderate productivity, can we ever have an understanding of the standpoint of the copy writer, with no prior knowledge of her or him. Moreover, we can't even count on a couple of defining, professional journalistic rules, nor will amateur writer sever have access to the sources of a professional section.

Case Study

On Sunday, Apr 6th there was articles in the brand new York Times Observer about an undercover vegan, who set out to expose the horrific conditions of the South California slaughterhouse. "To squeeze in he bought sandwiches made from soy riblets and ate them in a dusty car parking whole lot with the other workers".

Despite his vegan beliefs, this citizen journalist put in long days and nights escorting cows to the get rid of. Armed with a buttonhole camera, he "made sure he was successful in recording images of staff flipping sick dairy products cows with forklifts, prodding them with electronic charges and dragging them by their hip and legs with chains so that they could be refined into ground meat". The inspection resulted in america regulators taking action at a national level.

The film the citizen made was found by the mainstream mass media, and was effective because it was edited in a sensationistically limited manner. Citizen journalism pays to because it allows smaller teams of folks to be read, and a lot more empowered we become by technological advances, the easier it becomes for us to struggle the images we face by the mainstream press.

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