Welcome back to my blog!
This week we’ll be talking about Digital Journalism. What is it you ask?
Digital journalism also known as online journalism is a contemporary form of journalism where editorial content is distributed via the Internet as opposed to publishing via print. Besides the difference in platforms, online news can be presented solely or in combination of text, audio, video and some other interactive forms like hyperlinks, and can be disseminated through social media, and other platforms.
It has democratized the flow of information that was previously controlled by traditional media including newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. A greater degree of creativity can be exercised with digital journalism when compared to traditional journalism and traditional media. And this have given excess to people to write their own news.
However, the lack of control of the online media has also opened the doors to non-credible news sources.
Let me explain, even though I may not be the best person to.
For example, citizen journalism sites like STOMP, don’t even write about the news. Half the time, the “news” posted are random things that are not credible, accurate, objective or even well written.
The problem with these “citizen journalist” is that it insults professional, paid, rigorously trained, working journalists then equates them with people who thinks they know what journalism is all about, have a hand phone camera and wish to make a quick buck. STOMP is no longer a “citizen journalism” platform but a place for people with only a modicum of training in writing, or none at all to air their complaints.
This in turn gives actual proper citizen journalist a bad name. With the Internet, it’s meant to give people a chance to give the world their own perspective of a current event. An alternative view, that helps shape people’s understanding, unfortunately people has abused that power to use that medium to give bias views, and packaged it as actual news.
As seen on their website, “Award-winning STOMP, or Straits Times Online Mobile Print, is Asia’s leading citizen-journalism website with user-generated material fuelling its success… STOMP connects, engages and interacts with Singaporeans in a style and approach that is different from conventional news websites. Its strong growth reflects not only its popularity but its resonance with Singaporeans.”
HOWEVER, I do not have a problem with citizen journalism, just with certain sites that should have been closed down a long time ago. I like the concept of getting information from other informed citizens. For example, Arab Spring and Egypt. I also value the information I get from professional journalists.
All this though, needs a certain amount of control.
To allow people to just freely upload their “news” may not be the best way to go, I believe that all these should be vetted through by a professional editor/ gatekeeper, and hence ensures the quality of the information that we will be given. Though it defeats the purpose of us being able to access all this information freely and without any editing, it is important to keep in mind, that all the things we are presented are objective, accurate, current, have equal coverage and from a credible authority.
So, here I want to show a TED talk by Andrew McGregor, to look at when Citizen Journalism is done right, and how it can actually help people.
Hope ya’ll learnt something new!
See ya’ll next time!