Technology opens new doors for citizen journalism

Smart phones are for more than just checking Facebook and Twitter every ten minutes. Technology has become so developed that “Journalism” isn’t just for journalists anymore.

A new category entitled “citizen journalism” has risen up from the explosion of technology, and there are many ways nations around the world can use it to their advantage.

Citizen Journalism is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the collection, dissemination, and analysis of news and information by the general public, especially by means of the Internet”, and it is everywhere.

From laptops to tablets to smart phones, citizens have found new and even more empowering ways to share information quickly and conveniently. The next step is making this type of journalism available in every nation.

Brian Conley, director of Small World News,  a company that focuses on engaging citizens with international communities, has trained citizens and journalists in ten different countries to use this technology to let their voice be heard.

“My parents really taught me that you could do anything, but what that means is that you have a lot of responsibility,” Conley said in a Ted Talk at TedxMidAtlantic.

It is also important to remember to be responsible about the things that are posted on social media. In order to maintain credibility, there are eleven “layers” citizen journalists should understand as they begin to share information with the world, according to Steve Outing’s article at poynter.org.

There are only three things you need to become a citizen journalist:

• A level of interest and commitment in sharing information.
• Equipment (Have a smart phone? You’re all set.)
• Ability to upload videos/images online.

The basics of how to become a citizen journalist are simple enough for anyone to learn.

With citizen journalists, a single person’s story can be heard around the world. Everyone’s voice counts and everyone has the chance to let it be heard.

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