A new venture of citizen journalism is coming to life soon. Its called Citizens Eye by the team. The salient features of the website are still not known since the site is in the process of launching. The phenomenon is already established in North America, Europe and parts of Asia but it will be quite an experience for Pakistanis.
The admin of the site has posed some tempting questions to attract the general public like
“Do you want to be a Citizen Journalist?” or “Do you want to cover events and news from your area or city?”
Citizens may contribute through photos, videos, podcasts, articles, news reports, interviews and event reports etc and based upon performance, they may be designated as representative of the city or a particular community.
Citizen Journalism came to surface in Pakistan when lawyers’ movement was in full swing. It will not be wrong to say it in fact added fuel to the fire as people witnessing or attending large rallies started sending short video clips and interesting photos to various TV channels but citizen journalism looks a bit haphazard as it is still evolving in Pakistan.
This field now requires some guidelines, ethics and restrictions in order to grow consistently. People report in bits and pieces and do not give a clear picture of the issue involved like he/she may report students who travel on the roof of coaches but will not incorporate the views offered by Transport authority or reaction of parents that how concerned they are when they see their children traveling like this.
New comers should also be told how best to avoid yellow journalism.
These are changing times and the phenomenon is sure to spread like jungle fire but this useful tool should not be abused by a few clever people for their own vested interest; if used properly, it will help in improving the living conditions and making Pakistan a corruption free society.
Another question remains un-answered yet, on how to incentivize the citizen journalists.SeeNReport had manage to create some buzz, but the problem remains the same, how to attract people to post news on such websites? who are more comfortable with sharing happenings on their Twitter Feeds instead of third party and non-incentivizing websites?