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Communication and Citizen Journalism on the Network
Much has been discussed about the difference between cyberactivism and citizen journalism. The idea that establishes citizen journalism as a tool to make visible what is reported by cyberactivism has expanded. On the other hand, there have been many who claim that citizen journalism has used the protests exhibited thanks to the actions of cyberativists to create news. If we study the origin of each of these movements and specify exactly what they mean and the characteristics of both, we can differentiate them, but at the same time affirm that both keep common features that make them go hand in.
The (cyber) activism and the search for a social campaign
To study cyberactivism I will make a review about the work of Leila Nachawati.
If we place the Arab spring as a reference in terms of cyberactivism, we must extract the factors that made this one of the most relevant protests of the 21st century that had the Internet as a weapon to favor its propagation in order to find a movement that savescertain similarities with this.
The Arab spring is the name by which the manifestations extended rapidly are known, by having great social support, by countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Yemen, Syria … made from 2011. Make up the first wave of protests in the Arab world in the 21st century. These were caused by the enormous inequalities lived in these countries caused by corrupt and authoritarian governments, which generated unemployment and lack of freedom. Its origin is in the vindictive immolation of a young computer who served as a street vendor to make a living. The reason that led him to immolation was the dispossession of his only assets by the government. As stated in the proposed text to read, "when a town is sudden. After that, a series of concentrations began in which democracy and compliance with fundamental rights through will and determination were required.
The consequences of this movement are mostly positive since countries like Tunisia or Egypt managed to overthrow authoritarian governments. Unlike these, Libya and Syria, a country from which the protagonist of reading (Leila Nachawati)century. The consequences that this movement has had are the least surprising since almost 12 million people have had to leave their homes and go to refugee fields. A political activist states that "the only achievement he obtained during the revolution was individual and collective freedom but that, today, he is being destroyed by terrorism". The activists who caused the appearance of Arab spring had, despite the difficulty of their challenge, a cause. This cause that causes activists a feeling of pride to have, as they claim, a mission to fight in life.
The moment in which the Arab spring arose was in full technological fever, "we were in full maelstrom of changes chaired by the emergence of technology in all areas of our life," says Leila Nachawati. The focus of Arab spring lies in the effectiveness it achieved, from the successful use of new technologies and social networks such as Twitter or Facebook through which they denounced the situation they were living. This provoked in the entire world the feeling of a witness condition that holds us responsible. In all confession, the listener, in this case the world that received the plea of this critical situation was in a violent position that holds responsible and that makes us consider and question and even be part of this problem turned into a global conflict. The rapid communication through the Internet has served for protesters to have factors such as immediacy, complaint and clear leadership absence in their possession. Despite those who believe that the role of the Internet was simply a change in the media, this role in all these manifestations helped noticeable in the formation, dynamics and social change perspectives of these movements. The role of a digital platform in society is so important that, without this, society would be less prone to generate social movements in favor of democracy. Therefore, the more accessible the Internet, the greater democracy in these countries will exist. Thanks to social networks, freedom of information has been provided, together with freedom of expression, opinion and association, despite being the latter virtual. Authoritarian governments tried to stop the expansion that the conflict was having in media such as social networks. Despite the unsuccessful attempts carried out, they only managed to increase discontent, contributing in the long term to their fall.
There are numerous figures that discussed the role that technology had in the development of this conflict. Manuel Castells recalls the year 2011 as the year of the economic crisis worldwide, but also emphasizes the year in which the Arab spring began. A series of protests that he describes as “one of the most amazing and fascinating political issues of our time."
Therefore, Arab spring as a promulgating element of a social reality, was favored by factors such as immediacy, provided thanks to the Internet platform and makes the movement called "cyberativist movement".
Cyber -activism is the form of political action and social participation, through which a large number of people use the Internet and new technologies to reach great masses and organize activities, manifestations, marches or protests to show their discontent aboutissues with which they identify. The relationship between social networks and the manifestation of public activism is due to access to a large number of contacts, the construction of personal and group identity and, finally, the ability to create and join groups around common interests. Therefore, for a social movement to be considered cyber -activism, it is necessary to use new technologies and the Internet. Other movements that use the Internet as a propagation platform are 15- M, Occupy Wall Street ..
In this project, I intend to make visible elements that could be described as cyberactivists such as those published on pages such as Change.org. The role of cyberativists is also essential. In addition, it is these that are building “an alternative globalization from below, gathering a wide network of networks contrary to the growing influence of large companies in our lives, communities and resources” ”. Global justice activists have made an innovative use of global computer networks, political communication and network -based organizational forms. The network is understood as "communication system constitutes the basic infrastructure of social movements and provides the land for the production, response and dissemination of specific practices and speeches related to the cyberativist movement". Mass mobilizations offer concrete objectives to organize, while physical spaces where activists are helping to create and refute meanings and identities. In addition, computer networks provide technological infrastructure for the functioning of contemporary social and organizational forms based on networks that transform the nature of communities and social and interpersonal relations. Activists consider themselves as "members of global movements, linking in their speech their local protests and activities with diverse struggles in other parts".
Internet use has complemented and facilitated coordination and interaction in person. Activists use these distribution lines to remain informed about activities and to perform concrete logistics tasks. Internet is a fundamental piece and, as experts in the field ensure, therefore becomes an attraction for social media due to:
- Allows the coordination of movements through the borders without resorting to a transnational hierarchical formula.
- Allows high impacts without the need for large resources
- Organizations have editorial control over external contents and communications.
- Internet allows aside the control of the State and communicate through a safe environment.
Social movements have to direct information strategies to attract the mediatization they need to mobilize support and interaction with public and political powers.
The novelty of contemporary movements lies in its network character. These products, social and citizens, are the product of the network society in which they live. The role that the media have adopted within this new activism has been harshly criticized due to distrust, the application of stereotypes, the ninguito or, at the other extreme, the spectacularizations. The new activism has caused journalistic innovation in many fields so it has served as a guarantor of the future based on adaptation. Novel elements that cyber -activism has provided to journalism have been live broadcasts, the participation of the audience and the incorporation of social networks as an informative element to take into account.
It should be asked if we are immunizing in the level of recorded and disseminated violence, something that refers to the text written by lawyer Razan Zeitouneh. He states that experts in certifying deaths like her do not cry and wonders at all times if one day they will be normal again, natural beings or if death has immunized them and left them "in a kind of limbo forever".
In the search that I have undertaken in order to find a social campaign linked to cyberactivism I have decided.
Syria: After a year of revolution, the campaign against journalists continues the post, written in a vindictive way and with a strongly marked activist character, it is part of the special coverage that is called "Protests in Syria 2011".
In the brief, he denounces how the government has reinforced "a campaign against journalists, bloggers and video-activists". Leila shows the real case of a young Syria, a journalism student and a member of the National Party for Development, who was arrested by the regime.
The function of this campaign is clear: to highlight the contradiction that exists between the announcement of reforms and the arrest of citizens who promise to be part of these. The use of social networks as a speaker for these protests is one of the key factors and differentiating cyberactivism. The hashtag used for this specific cause by cyberativists is #Salmayafi.
Also denounced is the case of the arrest of Turkish journalists also Oxkose and Hamit Koskun, turned into the regime for their activist campaigns. Given this, also journalist Jamal Elshayal, denounced through the following tweet the repression they suffer in the Syrian country. The cases in which journalists are kidnapped by the regime are, sadly, more common than we can imagine.
As a conclusion, I want to highlight the great power that Internet possesses in our lives. Internet is a tool like the hammer is to nail something, among other functions. With this I intend to show how the Internet can be used in many ways, being its good job one more argument that favors hope in critical situations such as during the conflicts related to Arab spring and that, today persist persist. Hence the basis of activism that we know today and that receives by name, cyberactivism.
On the other hand, in relation to citizen journalism, I intend to highlight the role it has in our society and show the reactions to the incursion of a movement that, in parallel to the traditional media, seeks to make a hole using the voice of societythrough mostly social networks.
Citizen journalism can be defined as the journalistic movement in which it is the citizens who become informants due to the technological advances that allow to give immediacy to the narration of news events. Citizen journalism can be characterized by the following points: it favors collaborative work since it creates a network of contacts around the news.
This type of movement implies horizontality, that is, the elimination of any type of media hierarchy occurs and thus achieved, the long -awaited independence of media powers. In addition, citizen journalism manages to explore new journalistic forms, reduce intermediaries and work with a less limited amount of sources, among others. The first question that comes to mind when we think about citizen journalism is the one that arises if this could one day replace traditional journalism.
The answer is overwhelming. After an arduous research and comparing the opinion of numerous experts in the field I have been able. It is true and necessary to highlight the immediacy enjoyed by citizen journalism, probably its greatest identity sign. In spite of this, there are various points that prevent citizen journalism from reaching the traditional since the former does not know howHe lives at a certain time, which would place him in the information transmission chain as a source, but not replacing the journalist’s work. One of the main differences between citizen journalism and traditional journalism is to narrate the news facts, the traditional journalist narrates original facts causing reflection and also achieving a space for action. Meanwhile, citizen journalism shines for its immediacy and relies on the rise and hatching of new technologies. Despite having the support of new technologies, the conclusion of the text is clear, they can never replace the trade.
Once the role of citizen journalism is clear and solved a great unknown that arises around it, we must reflect on numerous approaches that arise around citizen journalism. It is also necessary to analyze the arguments that both people who support citizen journalism, such as those who do not contribute. In this case we can see as the defender of citizen journalism the Professor Oscar Spiritusant who affirms as “the little credibility of the media, the democratization of communication tools and the popularization of the use of the Internet allow citizens and professionals to generate content in equal terms of conditionstechniques ". Establishes as a starting point and cause of the appearance of citizen journalism the distrust of citizens in the traditional media. One of the characteristics of citizen journalism is that exactly, fighting manipulation and media hierarchy in the media. Oscar states that, thanks to the work of citizen journalists, information is offered to the public that, otherwise, would not see the light. It is necessary to highlight how this information is documented, providing truthfulness to the same.
On the other hand, the journalist Gabriel Sánchez states sharply that "citizen journalism completely distorts the communication panorama". In addition, he adds that "unlike the rest of the citizens, the journalist has a" commitment to truth, the differentiation between information and opinion, the verification of the news and the ethical norms that incumbent ".
I consider the most necessary the action of listening and analyzing the different points of view on an increasingly booming debate that grows in parallel to the growth of citizen journalism, increasingly present in our day to day to day. Finally, I have decided to go to the reading of a text in which opinions of prestigious European journalists about the rise of citizen journalism and their activity in the current world are exhibited. The specific text is called “Citizen Journalism. Opinion analysis of professional journalists from Spain, Italy and Belgium ”.
Some of the most important ideas of this are summarized in the following paragraph: the emergence of citizens in the informative process results in what today calls citizen journalism. It is based on the interaction of information professionals with the media and other doors that open;those that bring the new journalistic culture closer in which the news acquires a dynamic dimension. This dimension is introduced through the public that due to its active role suffers from the necessary guarantees of information that ensures an orderly and constructive public debate.
With the incorporation of citizens in the communicative and informative process, the long -awaited opening is favored in the configuration of the public agenda, eliminating any type of media hierarchy. In addition, this fact favors the greatest plurality of sources against business monopolies and it was possible to give a new change of course to traditional journalism due to the incorporation of new technologies.
Many are those who define citizen journalism as a necessary breath of fresh air within the paradigm of traditional journalism. Citizen journalism is developed in a framework characterized by three key aspects: the publication opened through low -cost tools, collaborative edition and disintermediated content distribution.
In addition, the text establishes the difference between citizen and participatory journalism since in the latter the collaboration of the users develops in the professional framework of the environment and is between the journalist and the collaborators.
Once citizen journalism was introduced within the text, I decided to seek the opinion of journalists about the phenomenon called "citizen journalism". Most of these warn of the risk of qualifying this activity as a branch of journalism or as a journalistic activity since they affirm numerous experts "lends itself to being confused with the activity carried out by professionals". Some prefer and consider more appropriate to qualify this activity as “practices of interactive communication between private citizens, where the subjective perspective and the absence of guarantees derived from a professional diligence protocol” prevail ”.
I wanted to investigate about what professional diligence means within the journalistic field and in the same text I observed the description given to these practices. The professional proceedings that everything entitled must have in the journalistic world are considered as information or information verified by other sources and duly contextualized that can acquire informative value. Therefore, it follows that the work of citizen journalists is not qualified as an informative. The position of professionals is clear;It is of resignation since some pressure is recognized to incorporate this type of content by the new logic of digital journalism;But at the same time also of acceptance, which suggests the adoption of a spirit more open to the current context in which we must open ourselves to the new fields, including citizen journalism.
In conclusion, citizen journalism, as extracted from the investigation carried out and the readings made is loved and hated in equal parts. In my opinion, its use and application within the world of traditional journalism is more than necessary, not seeing it as a substitute but as another step to the opening of this world and the creation of a journalistic style based on collaboration maintaining as a university rulethe truth.
In conclusion of the work, I want to show how both movements keep similar features. After the elaboration of this, I affirmed the fact that we would not know these movements without counting each other. They are not complementary since they enjoy great independence, occupying a primary role in today’s society;the society of the information.
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