Graceblair’s Blog


Citizen Journalism – HAVE YOUR SAY!

This week I will discuss the concept of citizen journalism; its impact on the web, its contributors, consumers and relativity to public health in Australia today. Feel free to leave any comments with your experiences, view or your favourite ways to have a say. I would love to hear from you!

Indymedia.org was one of the first web allocated outlets for citizen journalism.  It was established in response to concerns that major news organisations were failing to sufficiently cover WTO protests. What became known as the Independent Media Center (Indymedia) started off as a group of volunteers with a make shift news room wit computers, internet lines, digital editing systems and streaming audio and video.

These days citizen journalism is an open, community based, heterarchial and meritocratic ethos of open source. That is, a source that is open and available to any person wishing to make a contribution. We can see the small initiatives such as Indymedia paved the way for independent and free rule journalism.

The process of news produsage has changed dramatically from a three stage conventional method of production to the gatewatcher news process with four counteractive stages.

Traditional:

Input            →           Output              →              Response

 

 

Citizen Journalism News Produsage Process:

 

Gatewatching    →          Input           →         Output            →        Response

 

 

We can see an evolution through the development and availability of adaptive technology of the way the journalism is made available to the public. Citizen influence and input creates sources with adaptive, broad and well informed information.

Citizen journalism in not restricted to the creative commons and strict media influences. Public health has also benefited from a citizens ability to contribute to online sources. We can see evidence of this through online sources such as www.medhelp.org and www.wiredmd.com where medical practitioners are able to provide assistance to the general public. The first site, www.medhelp.org is a forum type set up where professional are able to offer remote assistance online to any person with a medical based question. The site provides more than 325 forums at a time to assist with a wide range of health issues. The second example, www.wiredmd.com is a collaboration of medical professionals providing technology to other professionals around the world. It offers free interactive medical forums and resources.

We can see that, as a result of initiatives like Indymedia, journalism is no longer restricted to people who write for newspapers and magazines. So get out there! Whatever it is that you care about, have your say today, be part of this world of information sharing.

Tune in next week for a discussion on Wikipedia. Once again, feel free to leave a comment.

 

References

Axel Bruns. (2007). Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage. New York: Peter Lang.

Med Help. (2009). Medical Information and Answers to Medical Questions. [Online] Available at: http://www.medhelp.org [Accessed 1 May, 2009].

wiredMD. (2009). Online Medical Forums and Resources. [Online] Available at: http://www.wiredmd.com/ [Accessed 1 May, 2009].

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1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

In response to the subject of citizen journalism and the point that citizen influence and input creates sources with adaptive, broad and well informed information, I would have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with you. Everyone has the option of gaining information through ‘reliable’ sources, however citizen journalism adds that extra level of validation that some people may seek.

That being said, the issue of bias in any aspect of journalism still applies. One concept that I myself covered in my blog, and you touched on as well, is the fact that these citizen journalists are writing with no financially driven ulterior motive suggesting that it is a democratic means of journalism in that it has the ability to portray an event accurately with no filtering or editing from outside sources. ‘Citizen journalism in not restricted to the creative commons and strict media influences.’

The point you raised that Public health has also benefited from a citizen’s ability to contribute to online sources “where professional(s) are able to offer remote assistance online to any person with a medical based question” proves not only that citizen journalism is indeed beneficial but also shows that even professionals can be considered part of ‘citizen journalism’, after all, they are citizens too!

Comment by jimmygray




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