My name is Gemma, I am German by blood, I was born in Australia, but moved around a lot as a kid, I’ve been to 7 countries, Christian by upbringing, a rebel by teens, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a girlfriend, an editor, a writer and a journalist. Curious by nature and an adventurer at heart.
Founder of Articulated Transference & ProBono Exploration, writer for BULLSH!T & Hijacked, intern and contributor for Concrete Playground and editor of UOW’s student magazine, The Tertangala.
I’ve done all this, but i’m not qualified, and with my personal endeavours, i’m unmonitored.
I have a smart phone, a Nikon, a laptop, internet connection and a voice. I have all the ingredients to citizen journalism within reach.
[sit-uh-zuh n, -suh n] [jur-nl-iz-uh m]
The collection, dissemination, and analysis of news and information by the general public, especially by means of the Internet.
Citizen journalism is a piece of news which is recorded by anyone at any given moment during any situation and put onto the internet. It has no editor or someone to control what is said and published. Before the Internet, only professional journalists had access to the technology and organizational infrastructure to publish their work to a large audience. If the average citizen wanted to contribute to the news cycle, he or she could write a letter or email in… But today, armed with a computer and a high-speed Internet connection, absolutely anyone can share newsworthy information and opinions with a worldwide audience.
Anyone can be a reporter. If you are taking information with your mobile phone and uploading it to the internet- you are reporting it. We don’t want the news told to us, we want to be part of the process. Consumers are becoming active in the processing and developing of information.
Sorry journalists, your job is about to get a lot harder. The very notion of ‘breaking news’ is broken. According to journalist and New Media Producer Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, “there can be a symbotic relationship between citizen journalists, activists, netizens- people who are on the ground, who understand the culture, they can fill the gap a parachute journalist, you know someone who comes in when the story is hot or trending or whatever, can’t potentially add to the story.”‘
It doesn’t take much to find examples of citizen journalism. Take for instance Tumblr. All I have to do is type in Baltimore, Ferguson, Syria, citizen journalism, journalism, voice for the people, in the search bar and thousands upon thousands of examples of citizen journalism appear.
And the crux of it all- human rights and justice. To show and engage the world about what is happening, about what the conventional media has their hands tied to show. In the words of Spider Jerusalem, Transmetropolitan
“Journalism is just a gun. Aim it right, & you can blow a kneecap off the world”.
For this blog post i’ve recorded an interview of myself for the job of ‘Citizen Journalist’ (if this were a job you could apply for). In this, i’ve outlined how simple it is to become a citizen journalist.