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Citizen Journalism in Malaysia

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 2517 words Published: 10th Oct 2017

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Online citizen journalism is a hot topic that has been happened around us but there have numerous perceptive or opinion regarding the definition and meaning derived from a various sources. The existence of different information offers citizens access to a variety of topics, ideas, stories and capability in their writing. In this research will measure a credibility Metro Online Broadcast (MBO) and Citizen Journalist Malaysia (CJMY) that includes variety of content and topics that most serve this function in the Malaysia. Based on observation of the site, Metro Online Broadcast (MBO) and Citizen Journalist Malaysia (CJMY) is obviously to feature a greater diversity of content, topics, general information, lifestyle and interactive.

The role of journalism

According to (Goh, 2007) the press or journalism is known the compulsory component that played a role as the watchdog for a healthy democracy. Journalists are played an important responsibility as a journalist in our society. However, Goh also found that Michael Schudson gives a similar definition which means journalism is the business of a set of institutions that promotes periodically information and on contemporary affairs. Basically, journalist are presented their story as true and sincere especially to an anonymous and spread it to spectators openly including within discussion space which considered very important.

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However, (Deuze,2006) stated that basically journalism is undergoing a transformation. (Witt,2004) found that because of the power of technological advancements have reduced the costs of publishing and with a computer now equating to a printing press individuals have immediate access to publishing suites. Bases on the observation, transformation has emerged the increasing audience expectation that a certain level of audience participation be permitted and indeed facilitated by the media.

Online citizen journalism

According to (Bowman & Willis, 2003), citizen journalism is defined a people who have a responsibility in the process of collecting, analyzing, reporting and delivering news or information to the readers. They also stated that citizen who becomes a journalist are be given the opportunity to become a writers either in online and offline with a variety of forms and formats, working under a variety of editorial schemes that focuses on a differences range of topics. The range whether from the expert to the generic and the micro-local to the global.

According to the information at the website (Educause, 2007) citizen journalism is defined to citizen have an opportunity in which they can contribute information or comment about news events at the website. Furthermore, people could be denied that over the year’s citizen journalism has advantage from the development of various technologies which includes the printing press that provided a different tools for the pamphleteers within 17th and 18th centuries. In addition, at that century was using a television, telegraph, and tape recorders which offered opportunities for people to participate in sharing news events and commentary.

By the growth of digital technologies, society have unprecedented access to the tools of dissemination and production. The information were include citizen journalist of submitted reviews or opinion such as on a web site about movies to Wikipedia based news. According to (Educause, 2007) has stated that some sites only run stories written by citizen. However traditional news normally accept comments and news stories from readers. Citizen journalism indicate a difference but between simply offering opinion on a topic and developing a balanced story that will be originally useful to readers.

Online citizen journalism do their work

The issues surrounding how citizen journalism works involve policy more than technology which make a blog as main tools to convey their mission. A website or blog that only includes stories from nonprofessional journalists or citizen who willing to share their stories have responsibility for the content resting with the contributors, or as usual it can have some level of editorial error make a decisions about such as checking facts or editing grammar.

However, for a mainstream primary flow that allows citizen to comments or submit the story. To avoid any effect on organization’s credibility the policies must be established about these issues (Educause, 2007). Normally, citizen journalism projects would use a range of technologies which include digital video and audio online tools for posting or accessing stories, have a rules to block who can submit or edit content, and RSS tools to simplify accurate dissemination of content. Some citizen journalism were prefer using wikis and collaborate writing and editing. Flickr photos and YouTube videos as an example of applications encourage users to link to online resources (Educause, 2007).

People who involved in online citizen journalism

Online citizen journalism were consisted a people who making a sites limited to nonprofessional reporting, such as in Malaysia there have Metro Online Broadcast and Citizen Journalist Malaysia but in overseas a divisions of traditional media companies that feature citizen journalism, such as CNN’s I-Reporter. Basically, citizen use blogs, wikis, photo, video sharing sites, digital storytelling applications and other online media as tools for citizen journalism to deliver their stories. Most of them were taking a projects that relates to local approach, convey the news about citizen issues especially interest topics, such as financial matters, gender issues, political issue and economics issue.

  1. Types of online citizen journalism website working in Malaysia
  • Metro Online Broadcast

Metro Online Broadcast or MOB which acts as a citizen journalism site, gives an opportunity to the public to share news from their communities that may often go unreported or published. It is similar with newspaper which reports news and happening from around our community. MOB apart are the people known as citizen journalists who produce and determine the suitable news content should be publish.

The hidden vital stories among community also are reported and covered in the MOB website. The process of news gathering and information had received from the journalists or known as MOBbers are confirmed and legalize with the help of a core team of journalists or MOB advisors who manage the site. In addition, readers can share their feedback, views and comments on stories that have been published.

  • Citizen Journalists Malaysia

Citizen Journalism Malaysia or CJMY was introduced by Malaysia Kini’s CEO, Premesh Chandran. He has started the citizen journalism training course with funding from International Center for Journalists in the United States in 2008. The first training conducted in November at the same year. The aim of this website to existence of participants, without knowing a background with journalistic skills in order to improve their writing and develop new skills such as video story telling.

CJMY has spawned 400 citizen journalists and 150 are an active reporters. Some of them have made their own name. There are over 80 training workshops have been conducted throughout Malaysia including in Perak, Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Kelantan, Penang, Sarawak and Sabah. The training and workshops was successful therefore CJMY become a platform for citizen journalists to host their work. Amateur journalists have an opportunity to make a right news is being reported and challenge them to feel a surrounding with sensitive issues.

  1. Development of citizen journalism

Phenomena of citizen journalism was include veteran sites such as Slashdot and Indymedia. OhmyNews one of the famous and the most influential news related weblogs in South Korean which in 2003 was attracting an estimated two million readers a day and online news site in that country (Gillmor, 2003). Other than that, Wikipedia also one of the source with recognize as up to date news and currents events section. Currently, it was introduced as Wikinews and even citizen journalists have huge opportunity to produced video news through in sites such as YouTube and DailyMotion.

According to (Flew, 2007) news media organizations are adopting citizen journalism practices and are encouraging citizens to contribute to their news sites while professional journalists are also cooperating with citizen journalists in their news presentation and dissemination processes. However (Jenkins, 2008) found that major daily newspapers are rapidly inviting and subsequently sharing user generated content. For example comments, photos, videos and articles on their news sites.

Based on the (Amanda, 2006) more than 1000 citizen news media organizations are sustained through blogs and websites in local communities. Therefore, ordinary citizens enable to contribute news and information. However, the information that were provided by citizen journalist could influences community thoughts either in negative or positive ways.

(Ashely, 2006) found that blog users were highly have a credibility to attribute in blogs rather than traditional media sources while also rating traditional sources as moderately credible. Nowadays, community much prefer choose a source of information through online.

Content diversity on online citizen journalism

The existence of online citizen journalism content in the marketplace may include diversity of information that citizens have contribute while making decisions related to the community environment. According to (Kim & Ball-Rokeach, 2006) the utilisation of a diversity of content can encourage individual to give awareness of self because it exposes people to various ideas. According to (Blanchard, 1977) diversity is also a matter of accuracy.

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According to (Pease, 1990) must have diversity of content and coverage should give a serious attention. The variety of content at the organization level would decrease because of the rising online competitors and declining profits. According to Pease newspapers normally limit their coverage to maintain their readers when faced a lot threat of competition. However, specific coverage may not fully meet the specific of accuracy because demographically tailored coverage can lack representativeness.

According to (Carpenter, 2008) there are few studies conducted on online citizen journalism publications but there have a differences in content probably attributed to the perceived changes in their readers. However, according to (Johnstone , 1976) citizen were prefer to generated content by published for smaller and more integrated audiences on a less permanent basis in order to encourage citizen journalists to produce content dissimilar from that daily newspaper journalists. By their observations, blogs are usually used by online citizen journalism and newspaper journalists to disseminate their content.

Smaller publications whether urban or rural are focus on community especially about conflict, advocacy over objectivity and evaluation over straight reporting. According to (Donahue, 1972) smaller publications distribute a stories community’s needs with their desire to make professional journalistic content. However, they are not recognize as online newspapers. Their normally loyalty not steadily toward their community.

This is because according to recent survey by (Schaffer, 2007) most of the online citizen journalists perceive they are be able to solve community problems and encourage a high local voter turnout. But the value of content it was failed to known widely by online citizen journalists in the marketplace. The situation would be seen through (Carpenter, 2008) online citizen journalists were rarely to rely the opinion by media routines and prefer producing stories that use more unofficial sources.

According to (Pease, 1990) previously newsroom leadership have failed morally and economically to diversity the content because they only focused on hiring minorities in the newsroom. Negative actions in socializes among journalists would affects the presence of content diversity. However (Shoemaker & Reese, 1996) were argued compliance to routines and the implementation of similar news values to stories will causing the content become variety to the public.

Then the researcher would analysed the selected online citizen journalism website by using quantitative content analysis. This is because it is suitable for measuring large quantities of data. According to (American Society of Newspaper Editors, 2002:) the responsibility and roles of a journalist is very important because readers really care about have been show but not how the stories will be published. They are also be able to judge based on the content rather than the process.

For this research, the researcher are focus on a diversity content in online citizen journalism website which is Metro Online Broadcast (MOB) and Citizen Journalist Malaysia (CJMY). This research also are created to measure of content diversity to make the comparisons for each topics. The content was measured the general information that provide diversity of content on both website, news source, and topics selection.

Primary topic in online citizen journalism website

One of the author in the (Project for Excellence in Journalism, 1999) stated that the increasingly of topics that covered by the news organization will showing an excellent of the organization. They stated that a diversity of topics would describes entirely about community issue. This study will evaluate the diversity level of articles by utilizing Simpson’s D. According to (McDonald & Dimmick, 2003) Simpson’s D was measures the proportions across categories and the diversity will considered an optimal measure to improve of its interpretative capability.

The content that found at the online citizen journalism is probably similar with smaller publications. According to (Janowitz, 1952) smaller publications are most focus on the coverage on human interest, social events and athletics. Whereas, larger publications are more to concentrate on government and crime topics. Based on research of (Project for Excellence in Journalism, 1999) found that the topics such as business, government, crime and foreign relation stories were has greater reported proportion than other stories such as accident, entertainment, science reporting and elections that includes in newspaper.


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