As a netizen and an aspiring Journalist, I have a lot of questions about Citizen journalism. What’s in it for me as a netizen? Should I be threatened as a future journalist? And lastly, is citizen journalism that important? After watching the ted talk of Paul Lewis, I realized the answers to these three questions.
1. Citizen journalism is an opportunity for netizens to be contributors and creators, not just consumers and bystanders. According to Lewis, citizen journalism enables netizens to participate in information creation. It encourages people to collect and disseminate information that they encounter. This makes people vigilant and engraves the sense of responsibility to look after other people’s well-being and society.
2.Secondly, citizen journalism exists to assist and not replace professional journalism. Citizen journalism indeed provides a substantial amount of information, but these are not enough to replace professional journalism. Citizen journalism allows anyone to take part in information creation and dissemination. The lack of professional training of the public makes them susceptible to misinformation and disinformation. This is why professional journalists are needed to act as fact-checkers. Lewis also presented how different stories and videos from various sources were able to complete a story. This is a great help for professional journalists to obtain as many angles and details as possible. If the power citizen journalism holds is appropriately used, we will realize that it is a great help and not a threat.
3. the power citizen journalism holds is crucial in seeking accountability and justice. In his talk, Lewis presented videos and testimonies gathered through the internet that substantially helped shed light on the real story behind two separate victims’ tragic death. We are living in a world where truth can be altered by money and power. If we want to seek justice and hold people accountable, we should be willing to collect and disseminate helpful pieces of information. These examples of Lewis reminded me of the brutal death of the Gregorios. The confrontation and shooting were taped and uploaded on social media for the world to see. PNP chief Debold Sinas discouraged recording in such situations. The recorded police officer who shot the Gregorios later pleaded ‘Not Guilty.’ The aforementioned example is one of the many reasons why citizen journalism is important. It has the power to capture moments and store proof that are crucial in seeking justice and accountability; Proofs that are more powerful than connections or money.