Citizens Report

In Literacy 249 I have found the concept of citizen journalism very interesting, some authors that discuss this concept in depth are Eddy Borges-Rey and Lindsey Palmer. I think that citizen journalism is an idea in today’s society that often goes unnoticed or unrecognized, while in fact is a huge discussion point that should be acknowledged more often. Social media has made citizen journalism much easier for individuals nowadays. Tiziana Terranova discussed free labor that citizens are known to be doing in today’s society.

Terranova claims that there are certain services that the public provides that unknowingly can be misinterpreted as free labor, for example, simply writing a review or retweeting something can be seen as free labor. Palmer in a way has the same ideas when it comes to social media, and citizen journalism.  Palmer discusses this in her article about ireporting on CNN; she claims that this is a form of citizen journalism that “depends on unpaid labor of its iReporters, especially when covering a political uprising.” Ireporting allows CNN to get citizens pictures and stories on their website through social media without paying the journalist. This is a whole new way of competing with their competition. Rey claims that instagram is another way citizen journalism and it isn’t a completely real concept due to completely changing the theme of a picture by choosing a different filter, this completely gives the picture a whole new meaning.

Rey claims that photos can change a lot and that editing photos may change their realism or authenticity.  And while Palmer discusses citizen journalism through CNN’s ireporting feature, she doesn’t discuss the topic as changing the authenticity of the photos by filtering or editing.

Terranova focuses on the digital economy, she claims that it is a cross between the media and information or communication; she discusses in her article the differences between work and leisure, and claims that there isn’t a clear line on where the two separate. I think that all three of these ideas are similar and they somewhat support one another. Such as while Rey focuses on instagram and the physical elements of the citizen journalism, Palmer is also focusing on pictures from instrgram being used to tell stories on CNN’s iReporting.

Rey gives several examples of pictures in his text, claiming that each one has been filtered and thus has changed or has become unreal in some way. He claims that however these photos are not fake, they are hyperreal, or enhanced.

I have learned several things these past few weeks about citizen journalism, such as I never thought about what can be seen as free labor. I find it interesting that these topics are so controversial, we just post pictures and tweet tweets without thinking about whether we are engaging in citizen journalism or free labor in any way. I learned from these articles that even the simplist forms of free labor can be over look and often ignored. Social media has become so huge in our society today that no one really thinks twice to think if this is citizen journalism or free labor in any way when posting something on the internet.

Terranova, Tiziana. “Free Labor: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy” Project Muse.  Duke University Press. 2000.

Palmer, Lindsay. “‘iReporting’ an Uprising: CNN and Citizen Journalism in Network Culture” Sage. Television New Media. 2012

Borges-Rey, Eddy. “News Images on Instagram” Digital Journalism. 2015.

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