2018-04-25 11:40 KST  
Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening?
On Being a Citizen Journalist
The greatest beauty of citizen journalism is that its power is in every citizen's hand
Masimba Biriwasha (simplebiri)     Print Article 
Published 2006-12-24 17:28 (KST)   
Being a citizen journalist has taught me to be responsible with the power that I have over information. I have a powerful understanding of the importance of information in shaping people's decisions and destinies.

I have a special responsibility to make sure that the information that I collect is accurate and truthful before sharing it with other citizens.

OMNI's New Approach to Citizen Journalism
[Opinion] Democracy's Downfall
Technology Can Save Money, Planet
[Opinion] Iran Defends Peaceful 'Right'
Couchsurfing in Gaza
OhmyNews Citizen Reporter Awards for April
OhmyNews Gave Me a Platform
OhmyNews UN Correspondent Receives Silver Medal
Young Citizen Journalists Warming Up
OhmySchool's 'Together We Go' Commencement Project
It is not the simple desire to see myself in print that drives me. Rather, it is to see citizens empowered to make independent and wise decisions about their lives and livelihoods.

I strive to be fair and complete in the stories that I tell. My aim is always to tell an accurate and authentic story, one that reflects reality as much as possible.

I strive to remain independent from the people and issues that I cover. Obviously, I am deeply concerned about the issues that I write about. But my primary motivation is to provide a complete picture, even if it is not entirely positive. I try to tell the truth as it is, without embellishments.

As a citizen journalist, I am not a mere conveyer of information. I am more that just a cog in the wheel of information. I am a citizen first, with a sincere desire to see freedom, fairness and justice prevail. I have a firm belief that freedom of expression is fundamental to citizens' progress, peace, and prosperity.

I therefore always do original reporting, applying a keen sense of judgment to information. My primary allegiance is to the public. I am aware of my own opinions and biases, and strive to interrogate them when I do my reporting.

I make it a point to represent all significant views in a way that is non-partisan and provides wholesome information to citizens.

I am curious and persistent. I have an in-built desire to keep going over the edge in search of the truth. I ask questions -- many questions -- and never take no for an answer.

I am not intimidated by the big and powerful in society. However, I maintain an immense humility and passion to see the voices of the downtrodden speaking forcefully about issues that affect their lives.

My principal obligation is loyalty to citizens and the truth. I am highly disciplined at verifying the authenticity of information. And I maintain a rigorous independence from the characters behind the stories that I seek to tell.

I believe citizen journalism is an avenue to challenge dominant views in society. Usually, these dominant views marginalize the voiceless through economic and political power as well as access to the big media.

Every day, I face challenges to compromise these values but I always fight to keep them at the front of every story that I tell.

Citizen journalism is in essence supplying citizens with information that they can use to make a difference in their lives. It is more than just juggling words to paint a picture. Overall, it is a painstaking process that involves collecting and checking facts. And, above all, having the courage to share a story without fear or favor. The greatest beauty of citizen journalism is that the center of its power is in every citizen's hands.

A key question for me when I compile stories is always: how will a story help a citizen to be part of the change that makes our society better and freer?
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Masimba Biriwasha

Add to :  Add to Del.icio.usDel.icio.us |  Add to Digg this Digg  |  Add to reddit reddit |  Add to Y! MyWeb Y! MyWeb

Ronda Hauben
Netizens Question Cause of Cheonan Tragedy
Michael Werbowski
[Opinion] Democracy's Downfall
Michael Solis
Arizona's Immigration Bill and Korea
Yehonathan Tommer
Assassination in Dubai
[ESL/EFL Podcast] Saying No
Seventeenth in a series of English language lessons from Jennifer Lebedev...
  [ESL/EFL] Talking About Change
  [ESL/ EFL Podcast] Personal Finances
  [ESL/EFL] Buying and Selling
How worried are you about the H1N1 influenza virus?
  Very worried
  Somewhat worried
  Not yet
  Not at all
    * Vote to see the result.   
  copyright 1999 - 2018 ohmynews all rights reserved. internews@ohmynews.com Tel:+82-2-733-5505,5595(ext.125) Fax:+82-2-733-5011,5077