Is “Blogging” Journalism?

The line between journalism and personal publishing is a blurry one, thanks to new ubiquitous tools that make it possible for anyone to publish and report news.
Participatory journalism is a slippery creature. Everyone knows what audience participation means, but when does that translate into journalism? Alas, there’s no simple answer. In a segment on PBS’s “NewsHour” last April that asked, “Is blogging journalism?” Joan Connell, an executive producer at MSNBC.com, suggested that independent bloggers aren’t journalists because no editor comes between the author and reader. “I would submit that (the newsroom) editing function really is the factor that makes it journalism,” she said.
“For the first time, people at the edges of the network have the ability to create their own news entities,” says Dan Gillmor, a San Jose Mercury News journalist who is writing a book about participatory journalism.
So what is PARTICIPATORY JOURNALISM?
When small independent online publications and collaborative news sites with an amateur staff perform original reporting on community affairs, few would contest that they’re engaged in journalism.

When citizens contribute photos, video and news updates to mainstream news outlets, many would argue they’re doing journalism.

But when bloggers comment on and link to news stories, is that journalism? Usually no — but it depends. When the blogger adds personal commentary that relies on original research, or if it is done by someone considered an authority on the subject, some would consider it journalism. Citizens become informed not by consuming information, but by interacting with others around information. It is the process of mutually influencing one another – interaction – that creates the condition of being informed. (Ryfe & Mensing)
Participatory journalism is an open-source, independent way of expressing one’s opinion, and it can be done, for instance through Blogs, forums, wikies… that report news and provide commentary and critical points of view, as well as deconstruct the mainstream media. It is a project that involves people from around the globe to interact, create, express and inform. Therefore, the simple citizen becomes a news reporter, from a normal user/consumer to becoming a producer. It seems that we are moving from journalism as “transmission of information” toward journalism as “participation”. That is to say, the new form of journalism challenges the old and traditional one. Not to forget that, traditional journalists are protected by the institutions they work with, and are well trained to provide real knowledge, whereas participatory journalists can easily provide subjective reflections of news or biased ones. That is to say, participatory journalism has a few flaws, such as lack of fairness, truth, accuracy and lack of professionalism. Despite the fact that it lacks some compulsory characteristics, I would still consider blogs to be a kind of journalism, in the sense that the users try to write about topics as they wish, maintaining a journalist-alike writing style.

http://www.ojr.org/ojr/workplace/1060217106.php

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.

REFERENCES:

1http://www.uncp.edu/home/acurtis/Courses/ResourcesForCourses/Journalism/CitizenJournalism.html

2-http://cima.ned.org/sites/default/files/CIMA-Citizen_Journalism_Report.pdf

3-http://storify.com/oms2012/best-practice-examples-for-citizen-journalism-site