Friday, 6 July 2007

Citizen journalism in my opinion

Going to Seoul was really a step to take me further into Citizen Journalism. I’ve got a lot of ideas to write, I’ve got a lot of experiences to analyze.

I’ve noted that I am still in the old habit of using conventional camera. I tried to make only important clicks. I regretted now as I do have a lot pictures badly taken. If only I did take more pictures…

I also acknowledge how I should try to see things in different way of perspective. Friends from the Forum, especially those who love photography, showed me how different they took the angle of photo and it work really nicely. I could see things with different level of enthusiasm through their pictures. I do not even notice the water fountain in front of the hotel if I didn’t look into Nair’s pictures. He caught it so lovely and attractive. We can beautify an object. I know that I should take photography more seriously.

I was interviewed by Hoshi from The Jakarta Shimbun yesterday. Talking with him made me collecting some other thoughts I do have on citizen journalism. I do think citizen journalism should walk hand in hand with mainstream media. We are not going to achieve anything if we are to compete with the mainstream media. We need to value the study and experiences that the professional journalist had endure. I’ve read that more journalists were killed on duty this year. I’ve also notice that the BBC journalist was freed after being kidnapped in his duty. It’s a hard work that citizen might not take the risk, especially with the low remuneration on the work produced. But citizen could be caught into that kind of risk by accident and having the channel to voice it out will make it a hard news.

Finance is also the other problem, to make a deep and thorough investigation a journalist need resources of money. A journalist also needs to be powered with communicative tools to be able to send their news as soon as possible. It would all costs money. Journalist can have himself financed by joining the mainstream media.
But being independent from the mainstream media is also freedom. An independent journalist is free to cover whatever subject he or she likes. We do not have dead lines, all to our own choice. Of course this freedom followed by the risk that your hard work could be rejected by the mainstream media. You do not have the privilege to cover the story they do need, or to discuss the angle of the subject that you’d like to point out. In this base, citizen journalism is giving you a wider chance to voice your thoughts. I’ve noted that they could publish the same topic written by several contributors. Citizen journalism websites are also giving the chance to opponents to view their perspectives. Citizen Journalism gives a contributor more freedom on topic.

Hoshi pointed out that Indonesia do have four citizen journalism websites, it is something incredible. I do hope all of this four could gain their readers and survive. Survival of citizen journalism website is something that I do need to know how. We’ve been talking about it in the Forum, but I do think I need more entrepreneur’s skill to understand how to make it survive and even profitable. I do hope that these websites can survive the cyber world. It is a good way of teaching democracy to Indonesian people. It is also a good source for professional journalist to seek more clues or more perspectives on subjects. It is also better than a standard questionnaire to see what readers like to read.

I think Indonesian mainstream media will still lead on the news, but the citizen journalism websites can give more hues to the mainstream media’s topic. Kompas is building its loyal readers from childhood with pages of Anak and Muda. Media Indonesia is giving a lot more spaces into citizen’s opinions. They even have a TV program in Metro TV titled “Bedah Editorial”. Then they gave more spaces in the printed edition to voice citizen’s ideas.

We are not going to be freed from printed version (even OhmyNews is now having their weekly printed for free). In Indonesia we are now having more and more free printed magazines, they are depending on advertisements. I do think that this kind of media is the future of conventional media. Citizen Journalism and conventional media are going to complement each other in building a better Nation, in watching a better government and voicing people’s voices.

Where are the citizen journalism heading? Where am I going to? Let it flows like the water flows to the oceans!

No comments: