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Citizen journalism: Bringing democracy in media
The very idea of venting their grievances or reporting what mainstream media often ignores is acting like intoxication for people. Citizen journalism is like taking the democracy a step further ? news of the people, for the people and by the people.

LITTLE DID the officials in Punjab know that a common man would expose their laxity on duty. Nor did the village council of Boraj district in Rajasthan anticipate that a common man would blow the lid off their vile act of stripping 1000 odd men. And if you are still wondering, what a common man has to do with exposing the system, then it’s time for you to wake up to a whole new breed of journalism catching up in India.

Citizen Journalism or simply put a common man’s view or take on what’s happening around him is the best thing to have happened to the nation. Empowered with technological advancement and high Internet penetration the trend seems to be catching up with the people.
However, this revolutionary mode of journalism evolved in a rather unique way. Citizen journalism chose to take birth amidst the mayhem of 2004 Tsunami. For when the disaster took place there were no reporters around to break the news apart from the holidaymakers, who where busy capture shots for memory sake.
However, what was amazing was their presence of mind to keep the cameras rolling even when they happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. And they happily shared the amateur footages with the seasoned reporters, who reached the spot later. And while some provided footage to the media some chose to give the world a first hand view or data related to the Tsumani victims via their blogs. These taken together gave the world the first taste of Citizen Journalism.

Citizen journalism (CJ), today in its fifth-year has matured and in India is helping strengthen the fourth estate of the Indian Democracy. And guess what? Indian mainstream journalism is accepting it with open arms. Today in India, you have numerous CJ portals that keep accepting news related to anything happening in the country from the ‘common man’.
Realising the power and worth of the news from the citizens have made even news channels have come up with exclusive programme on citizen journalism. Not only news channels but also several dailies across India have weekly sections, where they ask the citizens to write in order to bring the neglected condition, malpractice or recent happenings to the forefront.
The very idea to vent out their grievances or happenings that reporters are failing to report is perhaps acting like intoxication for the common man. CJ is like taking the democracy a step further — news of the people, for the people and by the people.
And with more and more people waking to the call of bring the happenings in their locality to the limelight may pose a trouble for the conventional media to scrutinise the authenticity of the news. But lets not a hint of doubt dampen the new spirit of journalism.

And with CJ catching on with people, the day is not far away, when officials will quit acting cheeky with the common man. And why not, for at last the citizens have got a platform to expose the culprits. And this active participation of us with mainstream journalism will help the democracy survive. And so for all you readers reading this piece there is just one appeal — Jaago re!
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