In a digital world driven by new technologies, social platforms and large scale media outlets, citizens with a basic smartphone took the ownership of reporting events from their respective regions. Why? It is a fact that journalists can’t go everywhere and report everything that is taking place. Lack of reporters in the mainstream media is yet another challenge. Even the national or mainstream media organisations depend on citizen journalists in the process of collecting, reporting and analyzing news.
Citizen journalism is undoubtedly on the rise in India. Media organisations are heavily relying on building their news stories. To make it more relevant, at the time of demonetisation, India witnessed one of the toughest days as people stood in queues to exchange cash for the new ones. Several were reported dead, while the aged were struggling to stand in the long queues. Ordinary people started flooding their social media accounts with photos, videos and texts about the day to day developments. Even the media organisations picked up perspectives from the common people, otherwise known as ‘citizen journalists.’
In many such cases, common man has become the sole source of first hand information. The launch of citizen journalism on India’s No.1 Hyperlocal Short News App, Way2News has defined the buzzword of the era. Ordinary citizens in the age of internet optimism, are aware of their responsibilities in communicating information at the grass root level. Their approach might not match the professional standards of journalism but have become one of those playing a very critical role in imparting information or complex issues relating to infrastructure problems, water and electricity availability, education and health challenges at local communities, corruption, crime, etc.
The media long lost its fundamental duty of reporting and spreading awareness about issues relating to development. People of India have been neglected as the mainstream media is bogged down by cost pressures. At such a time, our platform for the common man to report events happening in the communities birthed a sense of responsibility, giving them a medium to raise their voice for the good of the society.
Communication must become democratic in nature. Citizen journalism is set to benefit the country in all possible ways if one can understand the concept and limit its reach just to the small towns. Every Indian must understand how it can revolutionize the lives of people across the country.
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