Arianna Huffington on Citizen Journalism

Arianna Huffington on Citizen Journalism



citizen journalism is rapidly emerging as an invaluable part of delivering the news with the expansion of the web and the ever decreasing size and cost of camera phones and video cameras the ability to commit acts of journalism is spreading to everyone including you nothing has demonstrated the power of citizen journalism better than the recent uprising in Iran people tweeting from demonstrations and uploading video of brutal violence taken with their camera phones have been able to tell a story in real time and to circumvent the efforts of the regime to control the media and to control the flow of information this kind of citizen journalism is growing but we've already seen its power we saw it during the 2006 Senate election in Virginia when a campaign intern for Jim Webb videotaped his opponent George Allen using a racial slur that one-minute video posted on YouTube change the course of the campaign and alerted all politicians that anything they said could be recorded and broadcast to the world The Huffington Post harness the power of citizen journalism during the 2008 presidential election when one of our citizen journalists may he'll Fowler recorded and then blogged about Barack Obama's speech at a fundraiser in San Francisco breaking what came to be called bitter game and citizen journalism isn't only about politics it can take place at a Wall Street board meeting or while out at a comedy club when Seinfeld's Michael Richards abandoned comedy for vitriol during his stand-up routine one customer with a camera phone captured the moment and dominated the news cycle for days and citizen journalism is about much more than capturing missteps by politicians and celebrities who enrich Porter's leverage the wisdom of the crowd they're able to break stories that can transform traditional journalism whether by helping calm through large documents or filling in the blanks of an ongoing investigation by finding information in their own community citizen journalists can attend events traditional journalists are kept from or have overlooked or find and highlight the small but a talkative story happening right next door and they are becoming increasingly creative in exploring ways to find these facts and tell these stories what makes citizen journalism especially exciting right now is that the rules of the road are still being written although adhering to the fundamentals of good journalism starting with a commitment to accuracy fact-checking and fairness remains key in fact I think that we look back on the 2009 uprising in Iran as a new media milestone indeed citizens in Tehran using Twitter who were so effective at reporting on the ground events that the US State Department stepped in to us Twitter to postpone shutting down its site for scheduled repairs and here's the best part anyone can become a citizen journalist all you need is passion a little training and a desire to tell a good story you can join our eyes and ears team or do it on your own but with even the federal government relying on citizen journalism one thing is clear it's time to get out there and report

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