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Citizen Journalism

Citizen journalism is the reporting of news, conducted by people who are not professional journalists (Albarado, 2019) With the use of the internet and social media, this enables members of the public to spread information. This information that is being spread is news ignored by mainstream services, including newspapers, magazines and broadcasters etc. (Kivak and Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2020) Citizen journalism branches from the era of freedom and ease of access of information. (Hadi et al., 2020) So is citizen journalism through social media good thing? Let’s break it down. 

Social media is an everyday growing networking society which you can find in almost everyone’s day to day life. The days of going to the shops to buy newspaper are slowly decreasing, allowing for the growth in news sources to boom through technology. Social media allows people to share content quickly and in real-time. (Hudson, 2014) Citizen journalism through social media can be both good and bad. The good in citizen journalism through social media comes from their ability “through the discussion of news, use of social media for political purposes, and exposure to counter-attitudinal information.” (Koc-Michalska et al., 2020) They do this to provide knowledge to these topics in which arent being publicised by mainstream media outlets. The bad of citizen journalism comes from the “falsehoods that circle the public spheres” (Koc-Michalska et al., 2020) this expands through revisiting the ideas of misinformation, lies and propaganda etc. (Koc-Michalska et al., 2020) Although they are sharing this information as a way to inform, the risk of information being false becomes higher and this ignites the start of fake news. 

Citizen journalism allows people to easily publish their information, critics and opinions. (Vidya Prahassacitta, 2017) Pakistan is a country that involves citizen journalism. The country has had to involve themself as a way to get their news heard. “Free Press Unlimited and Bytes for All wanted to create more transparency and accountability in remote regions of Pakistan such as Southern Punjab, the Makran Coast and Tharparkar. These places overlooked by the national media and therefore often considered ‘media dark zones’.” (Free Press Unlimited, n.d.) Pakistan has taken a positive impact on the creation of PakVoices. It has allowed them to expand past their ‘media dark zone’. An agreement was even signed to promote citizen journalism. (Shaheen, 2016).  

Pakistan aiming to “bring national attention and coverage to local stories” (Free Press Unlimited, n.d.) Having one of the most controlling media climates in the world. Restrictions on freedom of expression are ongoing in Pakistan and the violence against journalists and media professionals is increasing. This results in Pakistani journalists often risking their lives to do their jobs. (Free Press Unlimited, n.d.) In a sense citizen journalism, this has had a positive impact on this country as it allows them to have some freedom in such a controlled media society. 

Reference list

Albarado, S. (2019). Citizen journalism | Britannica. In: Encyclopædia Britannica. [online] Available at: https://www.britannica.com/topic/citizen-journalism.

Free Press Unlimited (n.d.). PakVoices stimulates and supports citizen journalism in Pakistan. [online] http://www.freepressunlimited.org. Available at: https://www.freepressunlimited.org/en/projects/pakvoices-stimulates-and-supports-citizen-journalism-in-pakistan.

Hadi, Setiawan, Yoanita and Aritonang (2020). UOW Library resource access. [online] login.ezproxy.uow.edu.au. Available at: https://ieeexplore-ieee-org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/document/9024371?arnumber=9024371 [Accessed 4 Sep. 2020].

Hudson, M. (2014). What is Social Media? [online] The Balance Small Business. Available at: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/what-is-social-media-2890301.

Kivak, R. and Salem Press Encyclopedia (2020). Citizen Journalism. [online] login.ezproxy.uow.edu.au. Available at: https://eds-a-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/eds/detail/detail?vid=1&sid=b70b9ff4-6a8c-4533-92cd-dbf09f8c1093%40sdc-v-sessmgr01&bdata=#AN=119214038&db=ers [Accessed 4 Sep. 2020].

Koc-Michalska, K., Bimber, B., Gomez, D., Jenkins, M. and Boulianne, S. (2020). Public Beliefs about Falsehoods in News. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 25(3), pp.447–468.

Shaheen, A. (2016). Citizen journalism: Express Media Group, CCP sign agreement. [online] The Express Tribune. Available at: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1054711/citizen-journalism-express-media-group-ccp-sign-agreement [Accessed 5 Sep. 2020].

Syahputra, I. and Ritonga, R. (2019). Citizen Journalism and Public Participation in the Era of New Media in Indonesia: From Street to Tweet. Media and Communication, 7(3), p.79.

Vidya Prahassacitta (2017). Citizen Journalism in Cyber Media: Protection and Legal Responsibility Under Indonesian Press Law. Humaniora Binus, [online] 8(1), pp.45–56. Available at: https://www.neliti.com/publications/166885/citizen-journalism-in-cyber-media-protection-and-legal-responsibility-under-indo [Accessed 5 Sep. 2020].

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