An inside look at Citizen Journalism, by Denise Kennedy
It’s been around for years, and you have possibly been doing it but never thought of it in this context. It keeps you awake at night when you should be asleep, but when the writing bug hits you, the pen (or the keyboard) is in control. For all the writers reading this, it comes as no surprise that writing has been a passion of many since time began, but for some of you the title for a specific type of writing is new news for you: I speak of the trendy, hipster, dedicated blogger, known as ‘the citizen journalist’.
The following definition given by Rosen sums it up quite simply:
“When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another, that’s citizen journalism’.(Jay Rosen, 2008)
Citizen journalism is based upon the occupation of citizen writers, processing, collating and producing content for public readership, news and information.
According to Bowman and Willis, (We Media, 2003), written back in 2003:
“We are at the beginning of a Golden Age of journalism — but it is not journalism as we have known it. Media futurists have predicted that by 2021, “citizens will produce 50 percent of the news peer-to-peer.” However, mainstream news media have yet to meaningfully adopt or experiment with these new forms. Historically, journalists have been charged with informing the democracy. But their future will depend not on only how well they inform but how well they encourage and enable conversations with citizens. That is the challenge.”
It is important to note that we cannot make the mistake of confusing what is known as Community Journalism and Civic Journalism, which are both related to the actual writing and reporting of professional journalists. The huge increase of media access, online platforms, digital marketing and new technology, have all led to growth in volume of citizen produced articles, and as this trend is set to rise, it can be expected that citizen journalists will most definitely be seen on a larger scale moving forward.
Satisfying the hope of your market, makes business a sweeter experience!
Maybe the word ‘hope’ drew you to this blog today, or possibly you are a keen marketer and advocate for all things digital? I am currently studying the history, life and power of digital marketing, endeavouring to better my own knowledge of the subject, helping others do the same, and also strengthening my brand platform. It is a vast subject, but what has grabbed my attention from the starting line is the whole idea of the ‘hope’ we seek to give our customers, followers and readers.
As marketing advocates, our deepest desire is to strengthen the trust relationship we develop with others through our web content and everything we do. We want to create a platform where our brand is trusted, relied upon, purchased and engaged with in a deeper way. We long for longevity and commitment from our audience, ensuring that they will see us as a profitable, reliable and trustworthy investment.
So when people interact with your brand or service, do they come away feeling positive or disappointed? When you promise something are you absolutely sure that you are delivering what they expect? This brings me to the introduction of two important words, ‘hope’ and ‘expectation’. You should desire to build a reputation with your audience where they believe in you, have hope in you and become loyal to you. We cannot control the internal expectations of our target group, but we can try to understand their expectation and then incorporate those things into our media campaigns, wherever it is possible. We have direct control over the message we deliver and strive to build. If a customer becomes disillusioned with our brand they will abandon us and relinquish any relationship with us. As you develop and strengthen your relationship with the target market, it is imperative that you do not offer what you cannot deliver.
Marketing is a powerful form of communication, finding much comparison with our own personal and professional relationships. You will cause a person to lose confidence in you if you continue to promise things that you have no intentions of delivering. One of my pet hates is the failure of professionals to follow through on their promise and falling short in communicating about important issues. Here is where the strategies of project management are vital.
So moving forward, as you build your brand or product campaign, be sure to critically analyse the things you are promising, while continually striving to remove any doubt in the heart and mind of your target market that you can deliver. Let this also permeate into your personal and professional relationships, and the sea you sail on will certainly be a smoother one!