During the workshop of the Podcast'Inc project, we discussed the topic of journalism & citizen journalism.
Who are the citizen journalists? The collection, reporting, analysis, and distribution of news and information involves active participation from members of the public. We disseminate information using web sites, blogs, and social media. ©George Milton. Photo CC.
How about journalism? It is the act of gathering and presenting news and information. It is a form of communication, a one-way message, or story, from the journalist to the audience. In democratic societies, the media are usually referred to as “Fourth Estate”.
The non-mainstream media institutions, for example, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), engage in alternative and activist news gathering and reporting, often in response to limitations in traditional journalism. These organizations employ similar journalistic practices but are motivated by different goals and values and depend on alternative forms of validation.
The values that the ICIJ aims to uphold are those of "public integrity": journalism designed as a "watchdog" against corruption beyond borders. The objective is clearly to conduct investigations on issues that do not stop at borders, focusing on crime, corruption, and transparency of power. The journalists of the ICIJ are assisted by experts, lawyers, and computer scientists, who provide them with analyzed data. The ICIJ then collaborates with media outlets around the world to disseminate and reveal (free of charge) the cases that have been uncovered. The ICIJ is funded by donations from individuals and philanthropic foundations such as the Adessium Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, and George Soros's Open Society Foundations.
The public can use the tools of journalism to share information and communicate with each other, eliminating the traditional distinction between media producers and consumers. They must use their critical thinking, media literacy, and being able to make the difference between an opinion and a fact, a subject that we plan to cover in an upcoming post.