The Former Audience Joins the Party
The presentation done by Chera Pupi for this chapter really helped to illustrate many of Gillmor's arguments regarding the role of citizen journalists in news making. In 2003 protests of insurgent bombing in Iraq were expressed on the "Healing Iraq" site of a bloggger named Zeyad. Through Zeyad's blog we learn that blogs can also be used as a confirmation device for what we read in the regular news papers. They are a great way for people to express first hand accounts of a situation that may otherwise be represented incorrectly. Another goos story about citizen journalism deals with Rex Hammock, a blogger that reported his feelings on a "closed to the press" presidential event. Excluding media from event coverage really doesn't mean anything because of these citizen journalists that just seem to pop up.
Anyone in the world can be a citizen journalist and honestly this is not a new and revolutionary concept. 90% of stories are broken by everyday people that want to get the word out about something important. One large issue regarding the internet in general is freedom of speech (The First Amendment) and the idea of something being 'off the record.' I enjoyed Chera's example of knowing the biggest secret about Seton Hill and then saying she was going to whisper it to us, but it was off the record information. Word of mouth would make it travel whether it was true or not and somewhere the truth would come out on the record. Dealing with on and off the record statements is something journalists do daily and so do bloggers.
In response to some people calling blogs nothing but 'self absorded tripe' I disagree completely and retort with the argument that blogging can be an act of civil engagement. One notable legal blog is that of Pamela Jones entitled "Groklaw." On a final note, I want be be a journalist, but I would sure like to make a career out of personal journalism as well. Quoting Chera's blog: The “tip-jar” approach is the most popular. Another model is “nano-publishing” in which publications are devoted to one particular area. (end quote)
Links for the chapter:
1. Chris Allbritton - A blogger that was once a profesional writer. He raises money through his blog to go to Iraq and report.