Citizen Journalism

Citizen journalism is becoming a more popular way to spread news throughout the world. It is “a citizen, or group of citizens, with an active role in different processes: picking up news, analysis, and spread news and information.”  People have many different opinions on citizen journalism. One side that many professional journalists agree with is that journalism is a professional job which cannot be used for everyone. There are certain rules and ethics that must be followed and respected. The other side of the argument is that people view this form of journalism as a citizen incursion in the information society and think it is helpful.

After doing some research about the positives and negatives of citizen journalism, I can see why there are two differing opinions on the subject. According to For Starters: Pros and Cons of Citizen Journalism, the pros of citizen journalism are, “it provides the community with a different perspective, it helps to get local citizens more engaged in the issues affecting their lives, for activism, and it makes possible the coverage of events that the mainstream media might otherwise miss.” I would agree with all of these pros because citizens journalism has opened up a new side to journalism where people can see all different sides of a news story, the side from the media as well as the view from a citizen. It has also given people the opportunity to contribute to newspapers by sharing their photos, videos and videos with journalists. Local citizens are more likely to become involved in the issues affecting their lives if they are able to contribute and share their stories and have people listen to them. Really all someone needs to be a citizen journalist is a camera, information, and communication; it is similar to mobile journalism. Although many positives come out of citizen journalism, many people, including journalists, do not share those opinions.

Taking a look at the negative side of citizen journalism, there are very valid reasons for why people are against it. The cons that are given in For Starters: Pros and Cons of Citizen Journalism are that, “citizen journalists have no formal training in reporting, citizen reporters don’t have any ethics training in how to handle certain situations that may arise, and how exactly do we define news? There is a big discrepancy in this, as everyone has their own idea of what is considered important.” In order to be a journalist, journalists go through extensive training and have studied for years in order to get to where they are. It is not fair to them if they spend all of this time studying and taking the time to follow the path to become a journalist, when citizen journalists do not have any training or background in journalism.

Both of these opposing sides give valid reasons as to why citizen journalism is good or not. It gives many people the opportunity to share their opinion on certain topics and people become more involved in the the problems that affect their lives, but it is also unfair to journalists who have put in the time and effort to become a journalist.

Ultramans, Ironmans, and Marathons

Guest speaker Valentí Sanjuan is well known for his passion for competing in ultramans (2), ironmans (10), marathons, and other extreme sport competitions (and I thought I was crazy for running a half marathon..). His story begins around 10-15 years ago when he began his career in journalism and radio. He decided that he did not like having to rely on bosses, employees, and other work related people to make a living, so he decided to become his own boss. Now, he has his own YouTube Channel where he posts daily videos ranging from comedy shows to ultraman and marathon competitions, where he documents his races. If anyone is wondering, an Ultraman is a 3 day competition. The first day consists of a 10km (6.2 mile) swim, and a 145km (90 mile) bike ride. Day 2 includes a 280km (172 mile) bike ride, and day 3 is a 84km (52 mile) run. It sounds like a lot of fun, I think I am going to start training for one! Said no one ever.

In order for him to start his own business and be his own boss, he decided that to be successful he would need an audience, a story to tell, a “fake it until you make it” motto, and sponsorships. Although he is his own boss, he has many other “bosses”, such as his audience, his sponsors, and social media platforms, the most important one being YouTube. Without an audience, he would not have sponsors that would want to represent him because no one would know who he is, so brands would lose interest in him. Without YouTube and other social media platforms for him to post about his races, he would not get the attention from sponsors and he would not have an audience, so he would only be doing this for himself and would not be able to make a living off of it. He does these crazy, insane races to inspire people to do what they love as well as to make a living off of it. One unique characteristic about Valentí is that he shows his entire personality through his videos and social media. Although he is incredibly athletic, he also shows off his humorous side and his other personality traits that many other professional athletes do not show on their social media platforms. Professional athletes obviously have another side to them besides their love for their sport, but many of them do not portray their personalities on their social media profiles.

The long term goals for Valentí Sanjuan are to become the best YouTuber and to inspire people all around the world. As of right now, his main target audience are those residing in Spain. Within the next year or so, he will be traveling to Latin America to meet with other big-time YouTubers in order to get his name out there and inspire people in more than just Spain, but eventually the world. He lives by his motto “one day you are not going to be here, so enjoy it”. I vote that we get Valentí Sanjuan to  The Ellen Show so that he can inspire people in America and across the world on one of Americas most watched tv talk shows. After being inspired by Valentí, maybe some day I will be competing in Ultraman’s and be able to run my own successful business!

Mobile Journalism

Mobile journalism, also known as mojo, is a newer form of journalism where freelance reporters use portable electronic devices, such as digital cameras, laptops, and smartphones, to share news from his or her community. It is an easy and effective way to spread news to one’s community and it uses much less equipment than a typical journalist would need when reporting a news story.

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If one is interested in becoming a mobile journalist, he or she must be familiar with SCRAP. It is similar to the 5 W’s for journalists (who, what, where, when, and why). SCRAP stands for stories, character, revolution, actuality and production. According to the Huffington Post, “whatever the genre or platform, the smart operator working in a cross-screen digital content ecosphere will need smart skills that include storytelling, program making and an awareness of social media. Toss in the requisite tools, and you’re on your way.” It is still exceedingly important to know the basic tools and programs in order to be a successful mobile journalist.

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According to Catalina Albeanu, Facebook Live and Periscope are going to become gateway sites for mobile journalism. Here are some basic tips on how to get started with mobile journalism: put your phone in airplane mode so that calls, texts, and other notifications do not disturb the reporting, clean your lens, hold the phone horizontally with the home button on the right hand side, to ensure that the recording is not filmed upside down, and lastly, make sure your phone is stable. Before you start a live stream, it is important to know that once you start streaming, you can not take it back, so make sure that you are aware of what you are going to say.

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There are many pros and cons to mobile journalism, here is a list of a few benefits and issues that come with mobile journalism, according to GGIBIT’s Blog. The pros of mobile journalism are that it allows journalists to be flexible, they do not have to carry around large, expensive equipment, the audio is great quality, students know how to use the equipment software more so than other forms of technology, and it saves money. The cons of mobile journalism according to the same blog are that “the transmission of information is limited by infrastructure and the technology hasn’t necessarily caught up to people’s desires.” There are many pros to mobile journalism, but it is important to be aware of the technical difficulties that may occur when becoming a mobile journalist.