I haven’t published anything on the blog since May but I have done some work. This lack of posting does feel a little depressing as my intention had been to keep writing throughout. However, after a chat with Helen Kara today, I am reframing the way I see my work. I will be doing things differently rather than better from now on. If I write every week from this point on, it will be different from previously — not better. I haven’t been doing badly. Doing independent research while working full time and mumming full time is not so easy.
So between now and the next two months I’ll be working on my case studies, writing up the results and reflecting on my survey, and adding to my literature review.
Topics that have come up for me:
Citizen journalism and the effort required to build trust. A Twitter user recently wrote about a very obvious fact that struck me at how true it was. We can’t all observe, understand and know the world around us. We can’t be everywhere at once. We, therefore, rely on the media to interpret the world for us. They tell us what is true and what is important, what is news and what is not. That for me seemed huge in its importance. How can citizen journalists be in that position that what they relate can compare to what the mainstream media relate? How can they, we, be accepted as truth tellers? This is an obstacle that comes up for citizen journalists not just from the audience’s perspective but from the ones writing the news too. See Luce, Jackson and Thorsen (2016). It’s important to understand the “role in shaping journalistic identity and
self-empowerment” and “and overcoming fear associated with assuming a public voice”.
There is a truism that as an activist on the left — or anyone who works at writing about anything that is not the dominant narrative — has to work twice as hard. Mainstream narratives are accepted as given. There is no need to reinforce the idea of neoliberalism and austerity, for example, because they are the accepted truths.
Articles associated with this topic —
Mustafaraj, E., Metaxas, P., Finn, S., and Monroy-Hernandez, A. (2012) Hiding in Plain Sight: A Tale of Trust and Mistrust inside a Community of Citizen Reporters. Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
“Is it possible for anonymous individuals to become influential and gain the trust of a community? In this paper, we discuss the case of a community of Twitter citizen reporters, located in a Mexican city plagued by the drug cartels fighting for control of territory. Our analysis shows that the most influential individuals inside the community were anonymous accounts. Neither the Mexican authorities, nor the drug cartels were happy about the real-time citizen reporting of crime or anti-crime operations in an open social network such as Twitter, and we discovered external pressures to this community and its influential players to change their reporting behavior.”
Basu, Laura (XXXX) Media Amnesia about the financial crisis. Basu examines the mainstream media’s coverage of austerity and notes how the dominant theme of austerity came to be accepted.
Luce, Jackson and Thorsen (2016): Citizen Journalism at the Margins, Journalism Practice, DOI: 10.1080/17512786.2016.1222883
“We analyse challenges they faced in this journey, including low self-esteem, physical health and mental wellbeing, the need for accessible and adaptable technology, and overcoming fear associated with assuming a public voice. We also analyse marginalised groups’ attitudes self-empowerment. Those who are marginalised are in the best position to use citizen journalism as a conduit for social change, we argue, though challenges remain even at the grassroots level to foster and sustain participatory practices.”
— Writing all these thoughts shows me how suitable they are for a chapter. When I look at my concept map of what I need to explore, this topic hadn’t even come up.