The act of citizens' active role in the process of collecting, reporting and analysing news and informations is the concept of citizen journalism. This concept has revolutionised the way conventional media works.
THERE WAS a time when public opinion was chiseled by the professional moulders of popular perception. But it is no longer so. The age of internet has ensured that not only people have access to a bubbling ocean of information, but can also contribute a few drops into it. And the more prolific kind takes to pouring in buckets of their own versions of news, views and prejudices. Such wholehearted participation of the intelligent citizenry in the opinion-formation process has revolutionised the way conventional media works and is perceived by the people. Citizen Journalism was thus born.
It has made such deep inroads into the workings of conventional media that McCormick Foundation of Chicago found it fit to grant $110,000 to CU School of Journalism and Mass Communication to explore citizen journalism.
Paul Voakes, Dean of the CUSJMC, noted, “The whole notion of trained professionals is crumbling...We’re asking the question ’Can citizen journalism have a purpose?’"
’Resolving Door’, as the project is called, would look into and analyse the impact of citizen journalism on the newsrooms of tomorrow.
The project involves upper-division students of journalism working under a project manager in putting together a website, running online tutorials on how to present the information for public consumption by using common multimedia devices and technology. The students involved will also market and promote the web-project.
However, it’s important to note that with citizen journalists are subject to the same privileges and obligations as any other journalist or writer, and the question of accountability would, sooner or later, arise.