This week’s discussion led us to talk about Twitter and other social media sites that allow us to participate in citizen journalism and/or social activism. The question is, do we participate more in citizen journalism and/or social activism because of these increased opportunities in social media sites? I felt this week there was a mix of answers. For example, I stated in my initial blog post that I do in fact, participate more in journalism and activism because of these increased opportunities, however, Janbee (2013) answered that she did not change as a producer of content even though there are increased opportunities.
Janbee (2013) commented on how she “couldn’t help but smile” when I stated in my initial blog post that I got a Twitter account because my friends were teasing me that I did not have one yet. She then gave me a flip side example of how her friends gave her “blank stares” or they rolled her eyes at her when she told them that she had obtained a Twitter account. I found this story interesting and quite funny because, even though most of my friends teased me about not having a Twitter account, my boyfriend gave me the same reaction as Janbee’s friend’s reactions! I completely agree with Janbee (2013) that Twitter can be hard to get information from because there are so many ‘bits’ of information that it would be easier to get the whole story from a newspaper. However, I also agree with Yknwt (2013) in that, if you want to read more about an event or situation, Tweets will, not only consist of appropriate hashtags, but also links to news articles videos, photos and so forth. With that, it is a lot easier to obtain information on events, and Tweets are a good way to advertise these stories. To answer Janbee’s question, I tweeted prayer’s, articles, missing poster photos, videos and so forth during the Tim Bosma case. So many people re-tweeted this information, thus showing that Twitter has become such a huge influence on journalism, and obtaining information on major events.
Mcgip (2013) also made a fantastic point about how “tragedy, commonalities, and the Internet build communities and bring people together.” In the Tim Bosma case, Twitter communities and Facebook pages were created to help find him, and eventually, turned into memorial pages. When he was found, I felt that everyone on these social media sites took it somewhat personally because it was so close to home, and even if it was not close to home for some, it felt that way because of how much these sites keep closely connected. Social media is used to connect us, and to allow us to collaborate with one another.
This week, I found it surprising how many people, including myself, have increased their amount of participation in citizen journalism and social activism without even realizing it. I found it astonishing how much social media sites have influenced our interconnectedness to one another, and how much these sites are used for collaboration. For myself, these new opportunities have definitely increased and encouraged me to participate in citizen journalism and social activism. I also feel that, technology keeps advancing, and the amount of media sites keep increasing, which will then result in more of us, participating in citizen journalism, activism and collaboration. As Mcgip (2013) and I mentioned, Hermida (2012) explains how social media provides a platform for collaboration. I feel these new opportunities allow us to increase the amount we participate in journalism and activism, and the Tim Bosma case is just one of MANY examples.
Hermida, A. (2012). TWEETS AND TRUTH: Journalism as a discipline of collaborative verification. Journalism Practice. 6:5-6, p659-668.
Journalism in the Digital age: Janbee Comment. (2013, July 06). In Environest blog. Retrieved 22:39, July 06, 2013 from http://environest.wordpress.com
Journalism in the Digital Age: Mcgip Comment. (2013, July 07). Mcgip’s Blog. Retrieved 22:20, July 07, 2013 from http://mcgip.wordpress.com/
Journalism in the Digital Age: Yknwt Comment. (2013, July 07). YKNWT’s Blog. Retrieved 21:30, July 07, 2013 from http://yknwt.wordpress.com/