Presentation Bearing witness: CitizenJournalism and Human Right Issues (Allan et.al 2007) Karki, R 2012 Week-3: MDIA5003
Summary of the Presentation The presentation will examines the emergent and practices of citizen journalism with illustration from three case studies: 2004 South Asian Tsunami, ii) human rights abuses in India’s northeast, iii) the Palestinian Crisis in the Occupied Territories. Each case study discusses: circumstances forcing ordinary citizens to adopt the role of a journalist to provide immediate update of a situation thus, providing more human face to the story; varied interpretation, thereby raising awareness on particular issue; highlights the impact of eye-witness reporting (Allan 2006). There will be three parts to the presentation- examining three case studies with relevant examples from websites, video, blogs, etc.
2004 South Asian Tsunami Trends of reporting from traditional news organisation and the challenges faced during a major crisis in terms of the limitations of reporters on the ground, immediate account of the crisis (Schechter 2005). Emergence of Citizen Reporting in the wake of disaster in the form of blogs, citizen news websites- platform to support citizens, updating on the ground realities, appealing for help and platform to share information. http://tsunamihelp.blogspot.com.au/2004_12_26_archive. html Several blog entries on the first hand account of the Tsunami from Jaffna. http://tsunami- tsunami2009.blogspot.com.au/2004/12/first-hand-story- fred-roberts-in-jaffna.html
Major news organisations adopting the practices of citizen journalism Guardian UK compiled blog entries from around the world recognising the compeling story they make: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/dec/30/tsunami2004.features11 Mainstream news organizations can and should do more to embrace citizen journalism (Castells 2000). MSNBC.com has generated ‘citizen journalist report page; BBC News Online, created space for survivors to post first person accounts, photographs and video items of the Tsunami disaster; CNN, for eg: has created ireporter where you can join and upload your own news reports and video. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/4146031.stm http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/4135141.stm http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6766110/#.UBSyWzEe6Fc http://ireport.cnn.com/explore.jspa
Citizen Journalism in India The rise of citizen journalism in India via the Internet whereby the civil society have been creating an informational network enabling the coordination of democratic campaign over human rights issues in North- East India. Manipuronline.com, E-Pao.net, Kanglaonline.net and The Sanghai Express were important websites are more a platform for local human rights groups to form networks and alliances nationally and internationally. Manipuronline acts as a platform to track the progress of Sharmila- links to the blogs, background papers on the law, reports by various agencies and a newsletter. http://manipuronline.com/?s=Irom+sharmila+chanu
India: Continued Merinews.com: Launched in 2006: First Indian website devoted to citizen journalism; won the Manthan Award for publishing the best e-news content in India for the year. It followed varied kinds of citizen-driven news sites, whereby blogs followed- often used for commenting and documenting human rights coverage. CNN-IBN: put up catch line – ‘you see it. You report it’. http://cj.ibnlive.in.com/
Citizen Journalism in the occupied Palestinian Territories: Citizen Journalism started in Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), with a desire to be engaged in public debate on war on terrorisms, Iraq War, hardships of everyday life in OPTs and worsening political situation. Electronic Intifada (EI) launched in 2001 is one of the most influential English language website in OPTs started by round activist who crossed paths in 1998 on a Palestinian email list. The significant section was section for Citizen Journalism called: ‘Diaries: Live from Palestnine’, launched in April 2002 (EI 2000). This section soon became popular with citizens posting compelling narratives of their everyday life struggle in the occupied territory. http://electronicintifada.net/ http://bethlehemghetto.blogspot.com.au/
Conclusion The new media has widened the traditional public sphere to a globalised public sphere. This has allowed rooms of forming informational and international networks nationally and internationally for a greater cause such as forming alliances and networking against human rights violations. Citizen Journalism thus has become active in the new media where citizens are involved in demonstrating issues of their concern to wider society beyond their physical and geographical restrictions as seen from Palestine, India and Tsunami case studies. The new media landscape has helped in the proliferation of citizen journalism, which allows alternative perspectives and establishing a principle of trust and humanities, thereby helping to counter various forms of human rights issues and social exclusions.
Bibliography: Allan, S 2006, Online news: journalism and the Internet , Maidenhead and New York, Open University Press. Castells, M 2000, The rise of network society (2nd edn), Oxford, Blackwell. Electronic Intifida 2000, Introduction: the electronic intifada, electronicintifida.net, 1 january. Outing, S 2011, Taking Tsunami Coverage into their own hands, www.poytner.org. Schechter, D 2005, Helicopter journalism. Mediachannel.org. 5 January 2005. http://tsunamihelp.blogspot.com.au/2004_12_26_archive.html http://tsunami-tsunami2009.blogspot.com.au/2004/12/first- hand-story-fred-roberts-in-jaffna.html