As the last topic of this course, we will discuss whether us would be encouraged to participate more directly in citizen journalism and/or social activism due to the emergence of those new opportunities? Nowadays, social media is impossible to ignore in our life. It is everywhere, from a piece of article to the election for a president of the nation. People’s future is in the hands of the president; the president’s future is in the hands of the social network. The article of The Digital Revolution, the Informed Citizen, and the Culture of Democracy found people’s participate rate has significant rise because of the emergence of social network. Also the social network provides new channel to the candidate to communicate with their supporters and have better chance to present themselves to the voters. Its said that the “Cyberspace is unavoidable, and yet cyberspace is unregulatable. No nation can live without it, yet no nation can control behavior within it. Cyberspace is that space where individuals are, inherently, free from control by real space sovereigns.” (Jenkins, Thorburn, 2003).
“Twitter is affecting the way news is gathered, disseminated and consumed” (Hermida, 2012, p.660). I am not really using Twitter, but as a regular user of Weibo (Chinese Twitter) I fully understand what it feels like. Too many people will post every tiny piece of their daily life on Weibo. A picture of their meal, a picture of the tree they saw on the street, or repost a happening event from others. Given the speed of information is disseminated on Twitter and Weibo, we obtain tons of information every minute, and sometime we have to let ourselves pause for a minute to think about whether the news we just saw is true or not. “The development of Twitter as a channel for breaking news and the use of material from the public in professionally edited publications poses a dilemma for a profession based on a discipline of verification” (Hermida, 2012, p.663).
Social network has its positive side and negative side, and it’s our job to determine which side will stick with. I will participate in social activism due to the emergence of those new opportunities, but I will very careful about the information I post online. The reliability is the most important. And I would love to see how government use social network as a tool to communicate with people, to hear from people.
Hermida, A. (2012). TWEETS AND TRUTH: Journalism as a discipline of collaborative verification. Journalism Practice. 6:5-6, p659-668.
Jenkins, H. & D. Thorburn. Introduction: The Digital Revolution, the Informed Citizen, and the Culture of Democracy. in Jenkins, H. & D. Thorburn eds. (2003). Democracy and New Media. Cambridge MA: MIT Press. p1-17.