WEEK 10 (24th November 2011) Citizen Journalism

“In redeploying resources from print to online, newspapers not only have altered longstanding patterns of news productions, but they also have opened the “gates,” in many cases, to user-generated content-enabling, if not always embracing, such things as comments, photos/videos, reader blogs, and even reader-assembled news articles. This evolving spectrum of user contributions to news content can be generically referred to as “citizen journalism”

The revolution in news has taken place drastically in the digitalization of the print media from the journal paper by Lewis, Kaufhol and Lasorsa published in 2010 has clearly stated the development of news deliverance to the public. Citizen journalism is mainly about street journalism or self-governing journalism. It is also a concept of members of the public “playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, investigating and broadcasting news information”.

Moreover, based on the research result conducted by Lewis, Kaufhol and Lasorsa in 2010, editors have different opinions on citizen journalism matters. Some of them have positive insights and vice versa. They have four different opinions on this issue; in the negative side, some of them think that citizen journalist does not following the “book” because they do not have a formal education or an actual training on journalism and it is only meant for professionals. Also, they think that it will be “over cook” if the citizen journalist get involved in writing the news. In the other side of the road, some editors support the citizen journalist because they think that they will make better news if they (news journalist) insert in pictures from the communities, using ideas from them or welcoming readers comment. For example, in The Star and News Straits Times they have a comment or letter column for the public to write their opinion on any related issues that concerns them. And some of the print media journalist thinks that the citizen journalist as a supporting tools for a good piece of news.

When people from citizen journalist did not get any space form the main stream, they tend to search for other alternatives, for instance blogging. Through blogging they will get connected with others in just a second. Malaysia Kini is one of the alternatives for the citizen journalist to write their opinion in any matter that draw their attention. The society may jump into conclusion that people who write in the “independent blog” are people who are going against the actual norms. They may assume that the reason why these citizen journalists did not get any space in the news paper because their piece of writing is meant to go against the government ruling.

In my opinion, citizen journalists usually tell the readers the “untold” story or “behind the scene story”. Despite the arguments, society should be aware of the mainstream media and the independent media, so that they will get both side of the story. To get both version of the story is very important because by getting the full information, then we can digest or jump into the relevance conclusion.

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