“Commons Knowledge” could it become the new source of Knowledge?

If we examine the developments we went through in our modern history, we will find that the biggest leap of all is the one that took place in the mid twentieth century with the innovation of computers and again in the nineties when the internet became available for everyone. In her book Alternative and Activist Media, Leah Lievrouw asserts that “The internet has grown beyond its initial mode as a vast library and document repository into something more like a cultural festival in which anyone can perform, contribute, comment, and debate”.  With the development of internet practices also become more available to people what can be called Commons Knowledge. Commons knowledge offers an alternative to the traditional knowledge creation which we are more often exposed to through schools or colleges, from experts or various institutions. Today how this knowledge is created, distributed and filtered has taken one step ahead.

Whether this new commons knowledge is a good thing or not, I think a great example that well explains this term is Wikipedia, it is an open source knowledge database where anyone from anywhere can contribute, add or edit the information pages on its website. A question that should be asked how reliable as a source of information Wikipedia could be? The answer I think is “it will never be fully reliable” but it will still remain as a reference where people go to seek information. But Why? I think the answer to this has two folds; first the assumption that the contributors to Wikipedia could have truth in their contributions creates some sorts of reliability in the minds of the readers, even if  it’s not true, second, it’s easy and almost have every kind of information you would want to know. I think if it was not for the internet, meaning if it had another print like form, Wikipedia would’ve been obscure.

What we need to learn is the ability to recognize a good source of information when we seek knowledge otherwise we will doom ourselves to ignorance. Feeding ourselves with unworthy and untrue facts, and this is where the danger from such sources lie, history can easily be misinterpreted, sciences can be falsified.

Social Media, Citizen Journalist.

Of all the latest news that you have read or heard, how many came from print media and how many from social media? We can not deny that this is a changing reality, and that more and more people are always carrying a smartphone, a tablet and are permanently connected, it makes the news arrive before we reach them through traditional media.

For example the death of Whitney Houston’s and Osama bin Laden or the confirmation of the  spanish royal wedding have been before in the social media than in the traditional news. But, like everything, has its pros and cons. ? Compensates, for example, having the compressed information into 140 characters?.

Now a normal citizen with a smartphone is a journalist, and in my opinion it makes two big things, the first one as i said before it makes the information arrive so quick, and the second one is that we have more information about something, so we are closer to the truth.

Citizen Journalism/ User Generated Content

First of all I would like to start what citizen journalism is. The definiton of citizen journalism; people who are not journalist and do not depend on any institution, write the events or shere the photes or videos about events on their blogges or web sites. The other names of citezen journalism are partipatory jornalism, eye witness journalism or user generated content. In fact the name of “user generated content” explains the understanding of “user as producer”. Especially with developing of citizen journalism, internet users have became a producers. They make their own web sites, bloggs and they share their news on their web sites.
In fact the term of citizen journalism have been spreaded fastly because today everyone has at least one mobile phone and every mobile phone has a camera. Therefore everyone is a citizen journalist. When we think about news making, it is benefical in terms of journalism. Thanks to citizen journalism and power of internet, people can reach more new story, and Professional journalist make a lot of new stories.
“journalists can’t be everywhere at once and often arrive after the news event has actually happened. In many cases, such as during the Arab Spring, journalists can be banned or censored by regimes and individuals that don’t want stories to be reported. So citizen journalists with camera phones can be our sole source of first hand information.” (Measures, C, The Rise of Citizen Journalism, 2013)
In conclusion, I can easily say that citizen journalism is the best example of “user as producer”. Thanks to internet, people can create their own world, and has transformed a producer. Therefore communication has gained more power. People started to be informed what happen in their world.

Measures, C, The Rise of Citizen Journalism, 2013, http://socialmediatoday.com

Citizen journalism and its importance

Citizen journalism and its importance


Journalism is constantly struggling with the confidence of his audience, and to retain (or to return) positive reputation, requires adaptation to contemporary needs and demands of media consumers. These changes are imposed on their own, because of this multi-media age, people are in many ways involved in the media world with their comments, uploading photos and video clips. They are no longer just passive observers, but have the opportunity to be active creators and critics. Why then the media would not slightly opened the door a little more and allow entry into a whole new realm?

Citizen journalism is the dissemination of information by people who are not professional journalists. Citizens reporters do not do this kind of journalism because it is their job, but because of the way they want to improve society. Citizen journalism is the basis of democracy that encourages citizens to actively participate in social processes.

Jay Rosen, professor at  NYU, and  member of the Wikipedia advisory board,  gives this definition of citizien journalism. “When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another, that’s citizen journalism.” Taken fromhttp://archive.pressthink.org/2008/07/14/a_most_useful_d.html

Here you can watch video clip about this definition http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QcYSmRZuep4

The development of information and communication technologies, especially the Internet, has led to the emergence of citizen journalism, which means the active role of citizens in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information. All citizens create and distribute them with the help of mobile phones, the Internet, i-pod, computer, etc. Thanks to the  digital technology, citizen journalism is universally accessible and globally relevant, it becomes an important part of the content within the traditional media – both public and commercial. It has become an important corrections of official sources of information, it helped to create a real and objective view of the world.

When we look at the mass media, they are now mostly privately owned, and their main guide is profit. On the one hand, the media are financed by advertising, and something what usually happens is that advertisers and other factors largely influence the editorial policy. The development of technology has in many ways changed the mass media. This is primarily related to the emergence and development of the Internet, who first made that the popularity of other media declines, and then encourage the media to change and adapt their content. So today most newspaper companies have web sites, where you are able to read some of the free content from the print edition, or they have portal news. The development of the Internet has allowed newspapers to expand their ways to present content so that now they can in one place publish text, photos, videos, and immediately receive feedback from readers and the like.


As the Internet has expanded the possibilities of previous media, It also allow to ordinary people to express their opinion, and that opinion comes to millions of people worldwide. An important step happened during the late nineties, when began massive popularity of blogs. Blog  is a type of website that allows users to write on a variety of topics, from intimate diaries to political commentary. Today the blog is category that most newspapers have on their own website.

YouTube has launched a special channel called YouTube Reporter’s center, where citizens are able to look at a number of video tutorials in which, by some of the leading experts in the field of journalism explaining how to do amateur journalism, ie. civic journalism. It is covered a number of topics, from finding ideas for stories, technical implementation, presenting stories and etc. Then is open YouTube Direct, a channel where media can download or order a few of the amateur journalism works, in which are involved some major media companies such as The San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, The Huffington Post and Politico.

At the last World Blog Expo, held in September this year, a first training was made, about citizen journalism, for which there was great interest. The fact is that people are increasingly able to actively participate in commenting on current social events. Although it seems that the journalists in this way lose their place, they are actually in a position to improve the quality of their work, thanks to this new type of competition.

Here you can find more about World Blog Expo http://nmxlive.com/2014-lv/

The Guardian has made a system that gives readers insight into the stories that journalists and editors are processed, but also invites them to their comments and suggestions participate in choosing the topics they would like to read. Through the columns ‘News Desk live’ readers can follow the daily blog where journalists expose and explain the reason for selecting a particular story, concerning which will accurately report and why, while all stakeholders are free to express their ideas and suggestions, to make the final product in the better quality. Users can  contact the journalist via Twitter (# opennews). Also, under ‘You Tell Us’, readers everyday can comment and suggest ideas for topics news. While most of the media still prefer to close their doors  for proposals, and they think how to charge content that is interest only for minority, examples such as the Guardian, which is a prestigious British newspaper, gives a glimmer of hope that journalists still exist primarily because of its audience.

In contemporary society, the role of the media in many ways are changing. Although citizen journalism in some cases is dismissed as unnecessary and too amateur, big media companies had no choice but to support it.

Civil journalism can be a volunteer, but also people can earn money. Citizenside web site is good for both. Citizenside allows you to earn money for the photos and video clips, which you normally only published on your profiles of social networks.
Citizenside will pay up to 65 percent of the selling price of your photo or video, if it shows the media interest worldwide. Payment will be made to service your PayPal account for up to 60 days after the sale.

To the end, I suggest you to watch this funny, interesting, short video, which is the Winner of ‘Ad of the Year 2012’ by BBH London.













Participatory journalism which is also known as citizen journalism, street journalism or public media is the act of citizens “playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information.” According to Shayne Bowman & Chris Willis “the intent of this citizen participation is to provide independent, reliable, accurate, wide-ranging and relevant information that a democracy requires.” Citizen journalism is a specific form of citizen media as well as user generated content. The spread of the computers and rapid communication systems has induced the people to deal closely with the media. Especially, the fast development of social media networks, provides a new concept all around the world; “amateur reporters”. The citizens have started to spread the news that they gather, the research results that they find by completing them with photographs, to the online news websites and online newspapers. To transfer the videos on YouTube has become a task for people and everyday thousand of videos have begun to be uploaded on YouTube. Everyone sees him/herself as a “journalist”. Rather, the definition of media journalism has changed.

In recent years, the habits of the readers and viewers have changed because of the rapid development of digital technology. Readers, who have been contended just with newspapers in order to get news for many years, have started to change their attitudes when they see the unlimited possibilities of the internet. New and different behavior modals, trends and preferences have emerged with the technology. Today’s reader and consumer is no longer see the news that are imposed on them by the newspapers sufficient. The reader wants to contribute to the news and they want to be the part of the news. The facilities that are offered by the internet and latest models of 3G mobile phones, allows readers to participate increasingly.

The “citizen journalists” have begun to put forward that they are much more objective and they announce the news, which the media does not want to feature, to the public and they claim that they have an important role in the fulfillment of democracy.

The newspapers and the professional journalists, was not very pleased with this “citizen journalism” concept previously. They side against the citizen journalists. But later, they have realized that they can benefit from that news. Then they have decided to evaluate these free sources after a strict control.

Turkey’s first and only citizen journalism program is “Haber Sizsiniz”. The increasing number of citizen journalists, send news to this program from all over Turkey. It broadcasts the news that comes from the audience every week. Haber Sizsiniz meets with its audience every Saturday.





1-      Keşişoğlu, G. (2009). Vatandaş Gazeteciliği ve Bloglar. Dünya’da Medya. Retrieved from; http://www.dunya.com/

What We Understand From Citizen Journalism?

Citizen Journalism

Before I start to talk about citizen journalism, I firstly give way to defitions of it. One of them is ‘Citizen journalism is the gathering, writing, editing, production and distribution of news and information by people not trained as professional journalists.’ (http://www.uncp.edu/home/acurtis/Courses/ResourcesForCourses/Journalism/CitizenJournalism.html)  The other  definition is ‘Citizen journalism is seen by  some as an antidote to the widening information gap in societies where traditional news media–print and  broadcast–are in decline.’ (http://cima.ned.org/sites/default/files/CIMA-Citizen_Journalism_Report.pdf) I think that citizen journalism which predominantly appear with the Internet and improvement of technology  because with the Internet which is huge space and create environment for self expression behalf of citizens to promulgate their voices about dissimilar issues. With the improvements of technology citizen use cell phones, computers, tablets to share something. Also, this climate which shows opportunities to citizens.One of the opportunity is to discrimate from mainstream media because in mainstream media people must proffesional writers and they are trained and through citizen journalism,it isn’t important to become  proffessional or not they write whatever they want because there isn’t any limitation or some criterion onto people about what they should be writing. In addition to this, they have freedom to write which unfolds that they are producer and creator about their writings, photos, videos and other things to their interests because they have chance to discuss issues according to their perspectives and the resourse of news are citizens and this is how citizen journalism start to appear.  In addition to this, citizens who set their agendas as they select issues to talk about onto them.

I want to give some examples of website of citizen journalism;

One of the example is that Harass map which is a new social initiative to help restore Egypt’s tradition of public safety for women using an SMS reporting system for sexual harassment to change its social acceptability, spread awareness and revitalize the public movement.

The other example from Egypt. The example is Shayfeen.com which is a popular movement working on monitoring the legality and integrity of the elections in Egypt, through participating via a wide ranging web of Egyptian volunteers.


My last example about citizen journalism is from Tunisie. The wensite which is called Nawaat.org. It is an independent collective blog hosted by Tunisians. It gives voice to all those who, through their civic engagement, spread awareness through media coverage. Our editorial decisions are guided by concerns that affect the lives of our countrymen and our fellow man.


(This informations are taken from : http://storify.com/oms2012/best-practice-examples-for-citizen-journalism-site)

On the other hand, there are some disadvantages of citizen journalism. Yes, Internet is vast amount of information because there isn’t any pressure on citizens to write something and they have chance to write whatever they want in terms of economy, politic, social problems, education etc. I think that this cause information complexities which mean as people read or see, they don’t seperate that which information is true or not becasuse information that citien share is so subjective. The other one is citizen who take hold of freedom of expression and they react something in a harsly way, they criticize brutally and maybe say bad things to other person or things and I think that this situation sometimes cause unrespectful environment.

In conclusion, development of Internet and technology which creates more democratic, participatory environment behalf of citizens in the journalism area. It unfolds that freedom of press, flow of information, mass distribution. With the citizen journalism citizen who don’t only share something in a freely way but also they manipulate people to have an idea about issues and provide take an action about issues. I think that this freedom fetches threat out of advantages side because everyone has right to write and this cause increasing of their aggressive attitudes.









İz Tv

Most of the television programes aim to gain profits rather than teach something.There aren’t lots of mass media types which not dependent on advertising or consumer purchase. Maybe some tv channels. İz tv is one of them. It is the first documentary channel of the Turkey. The broadcasting of this channel looks like the National Geographic Channel and the Discovery Channel. The slogan of this channel is “Everything leaves a trace behind”. It hasn’t got any aim to earn lots of money or these kind of approaches. It tries to make informative and instructive broadcasting. It gives lots of information about the different countries through the travel programes and it also gives place  independent documentaries which came from the students.  There aren’t any big companies behind of this channel for making profits. Spinal Cord Paralysis Association  and Shelter Volunteers are the media sponsors of this tv channel.  İz tv creates the concept of sincere documentaries. Because lots of people don’t watch too much documentary but this channel reduced documentaries to a simpler state. When you watched, you were learning lots of things about your country also the other foreign countries and at the same time you were having a good time.