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.
It was a drizzly darkish Sunday morning as I made my way into the city.
I wrapped my furry hooded sweater closer to my face and braved the chilly wind with a smile. I hummed a Hillsong tune ‘You Have Made Me Glad’ in my mind and with each step I grew more grateful for all the blessings I have.
Soon my gaze was beautifully interrupted by the sight of the cutest scene ever… a little blonde curly haired child skipped along the footpath holding the hand of a tall dark male. I assumed it was her father. Anyway, as they approached I grew even more curious and bedazzled by their activity. She was giggling as she skipped and he was lovingly amused by her joy. Then, just as they approached me he leaned down towards her and said “Hey sweetheart can I lift you up?’
I could not hear her answer but assumed she said no, as he then rephrased his question by saying “I can carry you if you want?” ~ Then she smiled up at him and said “okay” and lifted her arms up toward him. Then he leaned down and swung her up into his big strong arms and as they walked past me he snuggled her close and they meandered down the street.
Tears immediately filled my eyes as my heart was struck by the beauty of this scene.
As our words collided, I was deeply struck by the voice of God, speaking deeply and beautifully into my heart. He was reminding me that I do not have to walk like one ‘un-carried’. Yes I will always choose to be strong in the face of adversity and testing, but I have a strong God who lovingly leans down and asks me to allow Him to carry me. I may feel I can handle this myself and so not need rescuing, but nonetheless strong arms await to carry me through the seasons of my life. I think I am resilient but meanwhile God is whispering “Denise, I’ve got this!”
So, where ever you are right now…there is a voice calling to you…asking if you will allow yourself to be lifted, carried, loved, saved.
Say YES…accept the loving offer of God. He truly knows how tired you are.
Let His great big arms sweep down and lift you up. You don’t have to do everything alone!
You know, I do not have all I want, nor have I seen every prayer answered, but I know my God can carry me and that gives me strength to live a life of contentment. He knows, and that is sometimes all I need to be reminded of. So I choose to let Him carry me, and it is truly beautiful!
So listen for His whisper, lift up your arms in sweet surrender and let Him carry you!