Saturday, 31 May 2008

Cit J in Indonesia: In the process of growth!

This citizen journalism activities is actually consumed my life. I've got a lot of added activities that I would normally avoid to minimize financial costs. The internet and the transportation costs were some unimportant additional budget for the family's expenses. But it is also worth doing, my mind has got the outlet that I do need to balance my life. While I'm trying very hard to have better and more balance time management, I also feel the need to be involved in it. It has enriched my life, enriched my way of seeing the global world.

Being just a blogger would probably easier than being a citizen reporter. As a blogger it is easier just to upload whatever happened in our daily life. But I'm also thankful that I came into blogging through CitJ websites, as I can be more aware about ethics and objectivity in presenting my posts. It helps to avoid misunderstanding, although I knew that the possibility is still existed! I can also avoid centralizing my thoughts on my own self. I need to hear others' perspectives too, and that is really worth in enriching my own knowledge.

I've also seen that people here tended to respond to lighter articles. People like daily, personal life story better than "news". A focused blog is also gained more interests and intensive communication with readers. Indonesians are also tended to be very active in commenting to blog posts in bahasa Indonesia.

An article in OhmyNews International was actually asking the question, who decides if it's news? That would be readers...

Yesterday, the mainstream media Kompas has relaunched its, they said it was the launching of Reborn. With all the capital they've got, they can actually finance a better site. They have more complete facilities, from radio to TV, and it is also serving selebrity blogs. As its icon they presented a young artist Sandra Dewi. She had got her blog, uploading her daily story for her fans.

I've been watching their changing performance over the recent periode, and I've seen that the reborn KoKi (Kompas Kita), the citizen journalism part of Kompas in a better presentation. It is also providing a space for its readers' forum.

This readers' forum reminding me of the mailing list of Forum Pembaca Kompas. This group is not administered by people from the mainstream media Kompas. Yet, the FPK mailing list has already variety of readers and very enlightened comments. The Forum from Kompas community seems more like a forum of bloggers' chat.

It sure that readers are the one who decided which news they would like to read. And that would be very clearly seen in the online version. Administrator can check out which articles have more viewer, and perhaps also valuable comments (valuable means that it would improve the meaning of the article either by praising it or by criticizing it).

I think is aiming to the Indonesian youngsters either here or abroad, just as the Stomp from the Singapore's Straits Times focusing on its young readers. I've seen the printed version of the Stomp as the additional pages in the Straits Times. I like their column "English as it is broken" because as Asian we might run into the same mistakes.

Citizen Journalism will surely be mingling with the conventional term of "journalism", so there will be no need to debate if citizen journalism is going to die or to be reform into another model. It is a process of the changing world. I like reading Amy Gahran's post about "What is Citizen Journalism?". She asked "Does CitJ Matter?" and wrote that "For hyperlocal community news, yes, citizen journalists are becoming a major force in many places -- especially in places that the mainstream media tend to overlook."

I think that is the important essence of citizen journalism, to help the mainstream media get their attention into problems that they missed out in their publication. I can see it through wikimu, I hope I'll see it through KoKi, or other citizen journalism website.

When I wrote about the disappearance of Asal Usul, I was actually aimed to upload it for Kompas citizen journalism website, but I don't know how to do it. Today I find that KoKi (I've seen their readers' postings long time ago before this relaunch of has an easier and friendlier way to submit an article.

I believe in a process, the time is having its own cycle of process...Citizen journalism websites might be closed down, but the seeds planted has growing up elsewhere...

I do hope that Indonesian will learn mostly on the intellectual right, recently another Indonesian blogger found that a picture from his blog was taken and printed in a book. This kind of piracy is something that we do need to fight in order to become a real better citizen. People need to learn about ethics, some Indonesians would probably think that if you are uploading your thoughts, pictures, or any other kind of artwork in your blog, it would be a free offer to copy and paste. "Copy Paste, Why not?" asked a contributor from wikimu. According to this contributor, having others copied and pasted our work means that we are having our voices spread out just like the multilevel marketing way of doubling our readers. Yet, if the copy and paste did not even mentioned who did that work (don't even say to ask a permission to use it), or if the writing were sent using other's name? Is that still OK?

I think CitJ websites are important to fight this kind of piracy. The community help other member of the community when they spotted their works printed under other credit title.

I rumbled here through blog, posting the articles to the citJ websites to gain editing and comments before uploading it in this blog. Yet, I'm not so sure about uploading in the blog first before sending it to the mainstream media or using it for other professional task. I'm still in the process of getting out of my own "cage", and still learn a lot to be able to teach the younger generation, at least to teach my own sons!

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