Civic Engagement - Citizen Reporting
As we continue to profile our civic activism tools, 29 of which are available in our online directory, today we shine the light on Citizen Reporting.
Unlike many of the other tools we have outlined in our directory, Citizen Reporting stands out for one very special reason. Anyone can do it.
Citizen or social reporting involves individuals in real time reporting on current affairs, or from specific events such as conferences and workshops. It is strongly focused on social media and other online tools as mechanisms for transmitting and collating photos, videos and comments.
Who has it Helped?
Sometimes specific groups will come together for the purpose of reporting on particular events or from a particular region.
Indymedia is a collection of journalists and independent media organisations offering grassroots, non-corporate coverage of world events, and encouraging wider public input through an online platform.
Voice of Kibera is another citizens reporting project in Nairobi, Kenya overseen by Map Kibera. Using an online platform, it aggregates reports of incidents from local citizens, community media and other news or information sources. Reports are compiled into a map, in order to present a visual report of activity in and around Kibera, one of the largest slums in Africa.
How can you get involved?
Citizen Reporting differs from traditional event reporting in that it is interactive and collaborative, with purposes including the development of a shared memory of what happened, increased accessibility and extension of the conversation beyond those who attended the event.
Citizen reporting tends to be less focused on one-off events and more towards ongoing reporting of event, often in a specific geographical location, and sometimes involving the production of a real time map or reports.
The term citizen journalism is also used for the general role of citizens in collecting, reporting, analysing and disseminating news or information – again increasingly utilising social media channels.
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