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.