|Courtesy: The Cole Papers|
While this new technology allowed everyday people to document the world around them, they still lacked the distribution method and ‘soap-box’ to share this with the world and their local communities. This need brings us to the third innovation that helped spawn the citizen journalist revolution. Web 2.0 and various social media websites have transformed and increased the voice of the individual. Web 2.0 is the term that describes any collaboration type involvement on the Internet. Instead of just viewing content on a regular website, Web 2.0 sites are designed around user generated content, sharing, commenting, and the ease of publishing content. Some Web 2.0 sites are blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, and YouTube. Most of these were all launched and became popular between 2000 and 2005. This new web infrastructure provides the platform for individuals to have a voice like no other time in history.
|Courtesy: Website Boston|
|Courtesy: Top Rank Blog|
|Courtesy: Twitter Blog|
The production of news routinely implies a complex and multilayered chain of communication and sense making events, issues and ideas will be subject to the influence of various ‘filters’ or ‘gatekeepers’ (sources, journalists, sub-editors) before reaching their public destination. What blogging, citizen journalism and social news sites yield are new possibilities for citizen participation at various points along those chains of sense-making that shape news – not only new possibilities for citizens to ‘break’ news. (Goode)
The new media world is a massive paradigm shift in which once the media was the center of the universe and now the user is the center of the universe, and when that happened the nature of storytelling and what we do changed. ... Most younger readers/users these days tell me they don’t want authority. They want information and they will make up their minds. They want to be the authority. (Robinson)
The distribution, which had been in the hands of a few large media conglomerates, was suddenly available to everyone. Today anyone, even talentless acts such as Rebeca Black can upload their video to YouTube and become instant celebrities. Justin Bieber, too, is a product of this channel-less revolution.
|20 year-old citizen journalist Hamza Mahmoud Othman was shot |
by a sniper in the Al Joubar neighborhood, in Homs.
Courtesy of the Doha Centre for Media Freedom