Since social media has become so popular and widespread each of us was given a new voice, a voice we may not have been given if it weren’t for social media and the internet. Things like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and blogging gives each and everyone of us the tools and power to spread our views and opinions amongst anyone willing to listen. Brund and Highfield refer to this as the “cult of the amateur” in the article Blogs, Twitter, and breaking news: The produsage of citizen journalism. Although they may be correct in saying that people who express views and opinions via social media are amateurs it gives us a voice, and the knowledge to eventually not be an amateur, it gives each of us the potential to become a professional.
I feel as though the question of whether or not these opportunities encourage us to participate or not leads back to a previous blog of mine about consumer and produsers. I feel as though to me personally it would encourage me to participate; but that is because I feel I have stepped away from solely being a consumer to becoming both a consumer and produser. Click here to find out more about produsers and consumers in my previous blog.
In reading titled Reinventing participation: civic agency and the web environment, Dahlgren gives an explanation as to why it is encouraging participation is citizen journalism. Dahlgren states, “The tools are more and more effective, less expensive and easier to use; access and collaboration are increasing and we are evolving from mostly media consumers to many media producers.” (Dahlgren, 2012). Which is exactly what I had stated above. In my opinion it really comes down to the individual. But if the individual we are speaking about is naturally a produser OR could be swayed to become a produser then the emergence of social media has definitely encourage me to participate more. Take me personally as an example of this; before social media I was strictly a consumer, but now I find myself participating a lot more.
In the article titled The Digital Revolution, the Informed Citizen, and the Culture of Democracy it talked about different uses for the web in reference to politics. A few examples being Bush and Gore used the web to make sites which called “e-buttals”, how the internet was used for pre-voting of elections. These are both examples of citizen participation, which could lead to journalism.
Through all the readings in the articles there was a strong correlation or connection to the idea of social activism or citizen journalism to democracy. If we didn’t live in a democratic society we would not be able to participate equally. Since I live in Canada and we live in a democratic society social media has encourage me to participate. But if I lived in other parts of the world without a democratic society then I probably wouldn’t participate in citizen journalism since participation would be restricted.
For the short and simple answer Yes, the emergence of new opportunities such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and blogging I am able and encouraged to participate more directly with citizen journalism!
Stay Happy, Stay Healthy, Until Next Time.
Jenkins, H. & D. Thorburn. Introduction: The Digital Revolution, the Informed Citizen, and the Culture of Democracy. in Jenkins, H. & D. Thorburn eds. (2003). Democracy and New Media. Cambridge MA: MIT Press. p1-17.
Dahlgren, P. (2012). Reinventing participation: civic agency and the web environment. Geopolitics, History, and International Relations. 4.2, p27.
Bruns, A. & T. Highfield. (2012). Blogs, Twitter, and breaking news: The produsage of citizen journalism. pre-publication draft on personal site [Snurb.info]. Published in: Lind, R. A. ed. (2012). Produsing Theory in a Digital World: The Intersection of Audiences and Production. New York: Peter Lang. p15-32.