Young Roots

Citizen Journalism thru the new media

By Johanne Margarette R. Macob

THE internet has paved the way to a lot of possibilities – better ways of virtual communication, online businesses, and other innovations in different fields such as in the area of journalism, giving birth to what we call the new media, also known as online media. The development of online media has benefitted one emerging branch of journalism, the so-called citizen journalism.

Citizen journalism simply defined is a type of journalism where private individuals do what professional journalists do, they give accounts of socially important events.

Compared to the past, our present era with its new technologies best bestows its people the convenience of being an active online user, more specifically, a citizen journalist. In our country alone, WiFi sites are found in numerous spots, internet hubs are more accessible, and technology fills the market with upgraded versions of gadgets and software that allow enhanced utilization of the online world. Further, the brilliant internet provides a lot of websites and website-makers where one can put his/her ideas on.

Today’s generation has access and the venue to easily upload his/her articles or videos through blogs or social media sites in an instant, and hence becomes a citizen journalist. However, with the rise of citizen journalism, particularly in the online media, is the rise of ethical issues on intellectual property rights, cyber-bullying, and plain inaccuracy. These issues, I think, are largely about responsibility. In order to be proud to be called a citizen journalist, one must be responsible with whatever he/she puts on the Web. The rules on citizen journalism are similar to journalism in general: get the information, verify the information, report the story and cite your sources.

Indeed, the emerging media has given a lot of opportunities as well as challenges to citizen journalism and beyond it. It has given us opportunities, but the way we make use of these opportunities solely depends on us – it is our freedom of choice. Let it be that alongside the rise of citizen journalism and emerging media is the rise of public concern and accountability, not public negligence.

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