THE WORLD Press Freedom Day will be celebrated all across the globe on May 3 and rich tributes will be paid to the journalists, who lost their lives in the line of fire or those suffering at the hands of the authorities for showing defiance.
However, more than the freedom of journalists, this May 3, brings another important issue to fore. And that is the freedom of the Media as a whole in wake of the failure of the traditional news industry as a business and a keeper of the national conscience.
As a consequence, a new from of journalism and media based on the concept of participatory journalism has evolved and is slowly broadening its horizons.
The advent of Internet and interactive web technologies has given rise to a new breed of citizen journalists , who are contributing and making news as the mainstream media.
These new media professionals, bloggers and photographers have charted territory, which is beyond editorial and corporate control. Many a times, serious news and articles published on Citizen Journalism websites and New Media have brought issues, which have been stomped over by the mainstream journalists.
In the wake of this development, it is important that this May 3, the contribution of the emerging concept of Citizen Journalism and New Media is also acknowledged and these brave guys are also given their due share under the sun.
Whether one is writing for a top news paper or writing his own blog or contributing on a citizen website should not make any difference, if some lies are exposed and truth is brought out.
It is also important that correct role of the media is clearly identified, who owns it and for whom it works. Is the media answerable to the stock holders, who are interested in the profits they line up at the end of the day or it has a larger role to play in the society.
The role of the new media and the alternative it gives to the common citizens is also to be analysed. Will Citizen Journalism replace mainstream media or will it work as an adjunct and coexist in the larger media framework is for posterity to decide.
But right now, Citizen Journalism is an evolving concept and the World media needs to nurture this concept and reinforce the idea on this World Press Freedom day.
The more people understand the process of journalism, the more they will realise the problems faced by a practitioner, thus bringing in more respect for the profession and the industry.