Can Citizen Media and Mainstream Media work together?
Social media has played a critical role in citizen movements and protests in the middle east and elsewhere. Governments and regimes known to suppress media freedom and citizens’ rights are being forced to take heed of these protestors and activists. Factors such as social media, increased internet penetration, increased popularity of smart phones have enabled ordinary citizens to express themselves and use these tools as a platform to voice their opinions.
But how has this phenomenon influenced mainstream media reporting and coverage? Ashoka Changemakers organized a twitter chat on #CITIZENMEDIA for their Asia Community to discuss the relationship of citizen media and mainstream media especially in areas impacted by protests and crisis. The chat saw innovators, citizen journalists, online activists, content-creators, communicators and media professionals coming together debating and discussing the many aspects of the relationship between citizen media and mainstream media. Finalists of Ashoka Changemakers Citizen media competition which is supported by Google also took part in the twitter chat.
Some highlights of the twitter chat:
Sanjana from Bangalore, India was of the opinion: “Mainstream media has no other choice but to wake up, acknowledge it, and proactively collaborate. Citizen media is an extremely powerful way of challenging the hegemonies of power.”
Bell Bajao, a campaign by Breakthrough, a human rights organization, to bring domestic violence and all violence against women to a halt was part of the twitter chat. “Constant activity, participation, engagement has been show to get mainstream media attention, for example in Egypt, but people have to participate and be active.”
Koustubh Sharma said “If citizen media increases its reach mainstream media will follow. At the end of the day, issues that stir citizens make it high on mainstream media on their own and are now catalyzed by citizen media”.
Follow the twitter chat by following the hashtag #socentchat on twitter. To find out more about the citizen media competition by Ashoka Changemakers and Google click here.