Saturday, 23 January 2010

Scrambled Thoughts on Citizen Journalism

I've got a lot of things in my mind, but I don't really have the time to write it out. So, perhaps it is the same reason of those professionals who are not writing out their voices. It's not because they don't really care or they don't want to communicate with others, but because they are already busy with their own daily life.

A fellow blogger, Lily Yulianti Farid, who founded the citizen journalism website "" said in Pesta Blogger 2009 that those involved in citizen journalism need to be techno savvy. I would rather say that we do need to be internet literate. After that, we should also be willing to share news to the world. Yet, it is so true that new media needs deeper knowledge than being internet literate. I found in "Teaching Online Journalism" lots of new knowledge about sharing in the internet. It is really clear that journalists have to go further on the exploration of making the most out of the new media.

Lily wrote in her blog that in spite of using the term "citizen journalism", it would be better fitted in as "friendship journalism". Gina Chen said in her blog post "Journalism's relationship with social media has matured" that she's definitely agree that social media has made news and political involvement more accessible to everyone, particularly to young people. I'm thinking that way too. Winarni's book “Makassar dari Jendela Pete-pete - catatan seorang pengguna jalan” is written while she was on her way to graduate from the architectural study in the University. Citizen journalism, when used wisely, can help young students to discover their passions. They can explore more as they have more free time than the older generation who have more obligations (of course older generation can still be amazed of their "newly found" passion or perhaps "fogotten" passion).

News were surrounding me, and only those that I put into writing came into my blog (which also made them written memories, others are only photos and notes in my computer). It's not that other events weren't important, but one doesn't have time to cover all those interesting stories. That's why I love citizen journalism websites, in term of sharing news; unimportant news for the mainstream media, or a slightly different point of view from the mainstream media. Even if I didn't write it as soon as it happened, I can still write about it later on through different way of presenting it. It would even be better if other contributors had something to write to fill in the emptiness.

If I don't write about Haiti, it is not because a lack of concern. It's only the matter of lack of time to write. Having facebook and twitter would perhaps a good solution for certain people to share their two cents.

Professional journalists who blog would find that blogs are helping them to reach out for their readers. They are no more dependent on mainstream media as their outlet, and they can still publish their stories (which took their time and perhaps also their financial support in composing the stories, which are too precious to keep under the desk) when their article were being rejected by the mainstream media. Blog readers can also be their supporters to voice out the truth.

I think I still have more wrinkled thoughts on citizen journalism in my mind. Citizen journalism is still evolving, I just hope that it will grow up for the better of the world's communication.

The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through (Jackson Pollock). Citizen journalism has also a life of its own. I try to be a part of its colourful life...

No comments: