Saturday, 22 March 2008

I'm not a super Retty!

Peter Hinchliffe, a fellow citizen reporter from OhmyNews International called me Super Retty. It makes me feel like one of the contestants for the cartoon star quest "Who wants to be a superhero" that I've seen with my kids on TV. I do not like that idea... Actually it reminds me more of my duty as a homemaker which was not really perfect! I like watching that TV show as it can reveal the inner feeling of a person. There are two characters that I remember: Super Momma and Feed back. My son adored Feed Back. I think Super Momma was also great except that she thinks about eating more than her obligation as a superhero. In some way it came back to me that I also think too much outside my circle of family and I can easily forget my obligation on my family. We don't really know who wins the contest as we did not see the final round (may be I should search in the internet...oups another risky step into another interesting news).

The problem of giving our services to people is that sometime we do not have time for our own family.

I knew my self, I'm a bit perfectionist and I will always deeply involved with things that I like (e.g. work...he..he..he...). That was the reason why I choose to be a full time mother. I've got to match my husband's schedule as an entrepreneur to have a family time for my children. Yet, his business' downfall made me try teaching part time to help our family cash flow. I tried to work as part time architect, but it couldn't work nicely...being an architect need more flexible time to meet clients, to control the site, etc. Being a part time teacher is easier, we have a certain schedule. I only missed my "hang-out" time with friends from the Indonesian Heritage Society.

Writing is something that I really like. After my graduation as an architect I was actually begging my parents to help funding my master degree as I did not get the scholarship. I was actually eager to get a further education in the USA, and to find out what is a job of an architectural critic. But they have three boys to think about, and I can't promise that I will choose a subject that would bring money...

Then I always think that I also need to contribute something for my country. I can't play badminton as Susi Susanti, nor can I swim like Elvira Rosa Nasution. I like environmental problem and was also eager in studying urban planning, but I knew that the struggle in this area can really be stressing.There was also some psychological block of being a Chinese Indonesian. By being a citizen reporter may be I can do my little part of being a voice (only a small voice in the cyber space's forest).

There are a lot of great people whom I can consider super women, but not me! This is not out of lack of self confidence...but it's the fact! There are more women who can manage their time better than me, there are also women who keep trying and did not bother the risk of being stress or being rejected because of their racial back ground. So I do not qualify for that term "super"...

Yesterday when I was in the church I fought really hard in my heart to stay on my seat and keep praying. There was a drama performing the Crucifixion. One part of me told me to go take some pictures for my blog, the other part of me asked me to remember the reason I was in the church. I came to pray...and that would not be the same prayer, or at least not in the same intention if I did take pictures.

I'm still trying really hard to balance my life. Once I've heard an ethical question for a journalist (especially for the photographer) when he or she encountered an accident. Should we help? Or should we make our reports? I think I should help in the first place. May be that would not make me a good citizen reporter, but I think that is the right thing to do. Perhaps that is also why there are citizen reporters and there are professional journalists. There is probably the chance that a citizen reporter can't give a detailed report as they will have other obligation to do, but they can help give the piece of information to help the professional journalist dig more into it. Hot news in term of full reportage will be a difficult task for a citizen reporter who was not trained to present news as a journalist. But features by a citizen reporter can give another hue in the news.

The Jakarta Post contacted me to arrange a meeting, they would like me to answer some questions as a reader. We canceled our planned meeting last week but I am really looking forward to meeting them next week. There are some questions I do have in my mind about the printed and the online media. So, that would be a nice exchange of views.

Balancing my life is a bit difficult as the need to write and the ideas that were popped inside my head can make me crazy. I do need to write that down, but I don't have time and energy to do all of my obligations, nor do to write down all that make me interested in commenting.

Going out (especially to Jakarta, an hour away through the toll road) also cost me some extra expenses (not to say stealing my time away from home). To be able to find news that is not personal I need to go out, and I've got to be careful with the extra cost that I should spend. The internet connection is already some extra cost. But that's also worthed the experience I gained. Yet, as a citizen reporter I can also cut some expenses as there were some seminars invitation came to me for free. I do interested in those seminars, but if I have to spend money on it I doubted I can join them. As a housewife I do not really need to join in that seminar, but as a citizen I do have my curiosity on what's going on out there. We can't always get the reviews from the newspaper or magazine.

Vincent Maher said in an e-mail that a blog is going to be more rewarding in the long run than being a citizen reporter. I asked him why, but he did not answer. I think blog is easier to write than an article for a citizen journalism website. We can select our blog readers, and by focusing in a topic that would be easier to get a real circle of friendship through the internet. Yet, Citizen Journalism Websites (perhaps I should include the bloggers' community in this type of websites) boosted more friendship than just being a blogger. Writing for a community makes me more careful in presenting the objectivity, and it also helps reminding me to keep my integrity.

I was a bit addicted in this new activity (CJ) and sometimes did not put my priorities on other tasks. I am trying to be more realistic and keep my life flowing like the water in the river. I do hope there will be more citizen reporters from Indonesia. I know that this activity is probably not worth in producing cash, but this is a nice communicative way in a world that became flatter than before. It's a way to share and learn from each other.

So, I'm not a super Retty. I'm just trying to be worthy as a human being. I'm just trying to whip up the spirit inside me...

No comments: