Posts tagged with ‘citizen journalism’
Fred Ritchin, professor at NYU and co-director of the Photography & Human Rights Program at Tisch in an article for TIME LightBox on Hurricane Sandy, One Year Later.
He discusses the growing practice of and potential for communities to portray themselves through photography, be it professionals having access to a larger audience through the web, or amateurs using their mobile phones to capture events.
Instagram, for example, allows professionals and amateurs alike to immediately upload images; during Hurricane Sandy last year, ten photos tagged to the storm were uploaded every second; 800,000 pictures were uploaded in all. In contrast, the monumental, multi-year Farm Security Administration program created during the New Deal that focused on American rural poverty with photographers such as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Gordon Parks, Arthur Rothstein and Ben Shahn, produced roughly 250,000 images total.
While Instagram as a photographic and journalistic medium has its critics, one of its positive features is the fact that users can see only one photo at a time on their phone, which, Ritchin points out, provides the viewer a type of respite from the visual chaos of the web. At a time when increasing numbers of citizens around the world are documenting everything from war to human rights atrocities to their daily lives, a coherent way to filter this imagery is missing. Not all disasters are the same, he writes:
Whereas Hurricane Sandy was a catastrophe that those in the Northeastern United States suffered through together, sharing each other’s vulnerability, other circumstances may be more problematic. What might have been the result if those trapped inside the World Trade Towers on September 11 had possessed cellphone cameras? Would it have been enlightening for others on the outside if they were able to distribute images of their terrible predicament, or would large amounts of such first-person imagery have provoked an ugly voyeurism amounting to re-victimization? Would these images have further increased the trauma for a horrified, largely powerless public to even more intolerable levels, and with it the calls for vengeance?
Our task is two-fold: 1) “to develop practical applications for this abundance of imagery” and 2) to find ways to make this “family album” that stretches the world over accessible to us, in our media consumption cycles as something other than an overload of imagery lest it cause “an even greater distancing from events” due to our inability to process the abundance.
All that in mind, view the photo essay "Hurricane Sandy, One Year Later: Self-Portraits of Communities in Distress" here.
Our model of citizen journalism is based on working with the “regular” local population, rather than with activists, and many of the videos we publish are filmed from windows, balconies and roofs rather than by someone involved in the incidents. This, I think, gives the videos a special quality, and helps the Israeli audience see the reality from the eyes, or camera lenses, of ordinary Palestinians. It is also important in terms of access, and allows us to monitor and document incidents that occur daily in Palestinian streets and fields.
— Yoav Gross, Video Department Director of the Israeli citizen journalism organization B’Tselem to Witness.org. Citizen Video for Journalists: How One Israeli Group Became a Trusted Source for News.
Maura Johnson, NPR Music. What Happened To Music Writing This Year?
Johnson is on to something, and it’s not just about music writing — it’s about journalism as an increasingly porous activity. Lists and lightweight news bites regularly become the day’s most shared content. And many people who would be receptive to more in-depth, thoughtful content are likely banging out article-worthy ideas in online conversations.
She continues, asking a question all up-and-comers should ask themselves:
And this is where the larger quandary comes in. If the idea is to “serve the reader,” does that mean exposing them to new things they haven’t heard and ideas that might not have been aired yet, or does it mean pivoting off the conventional wisdom in some way?
H/T: Jay Rosen.
See Global Voices, a citizen journalism site that does an incredible job of providing passionate people with a place to coordinate and research, write, translate and distribute online news. Above is a case study of a land grab in Brazil, and follows the story from idea to Italian, among other languages.
1. Be Specific in Your Application
Think of a topic, project or proposal that you are excited about. Then make it more specific. Then make it even more specific.
2. Like a Good Reporter, Do Your Research
Once you’ve chosen a proposal, seriously investigate the organizations that are most likely to care about your work.
3. If a Grant is Only Available to Organizations, Don’t Get Discouraged
A huge chunk of grants are designed to support nonprofit organizations but, as it turns out, there is a way for strong individual applicants to take advantage of them anyway.
“If a foundation is interested in giving you a grant, but they only fund organizations, you can go through a fiscal sponsor,” Kira Kay, executive director of the Bureau for International Reporting, said by phone. “They provide you with the administration and legal legitimacy of a nonprofit, so you can harvest foundation grants that aren’t normally available to individuals.”
Here’s how it works: Fiscal sponsors are official 501(c)(3) public charities that are eligible to receive nonprofit grants, but can pass their sponsorship onto individual grant applicants. By going through a fiscal sponsor, individuals can seek grants and solicit tax-deductible donations in the same way that nonprofit organizations can.
4. Consider Grants that Aren’t Specifically for Reporters
If you’d like to do an international project, look for grant funding from NGOs, aid organizations, or research foundations that focus on your country, region or topic of interest. For example, the Luce Scholars Program offers grants for projects in Asia, while Inter American Press Association Fellowships fund projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
If you work in multimedia formats, consider grants for photographers, radio producers and filmmakers, such as the Aaron Siskind Foundation Grant orNational Press Photographers Association Grants. Even broad grants that fund general research projects, like the Fulbright, can be great ways to subsidize long-term freelance reporting work.
5. Demonstrate Potential for Success
So for journalists who don’t have a well-established portfolio of clips (or don’t have clips that are relevant to their grant project), examples of self-published work can be just as useful.
“I’m a big believer in producing a project that you believe in that showcases your skills and putting it on your own website,” Moore said by phone. “People who are interested in funding don’t care whether your project has appeared on NPR — they just want to know that you can get a project done.”
Howard Gardner, as quoted in my reflections on last week’s Poynter Ethics Journalism Symposium.
We’ve published the reflection over at our brand-new theFJP.org, which we also launched last week.
So head on over to read: “Reflections on the #PoynterEthics Journalism Symposium from a Starry-Eyed Attendee" -Jihii
(Starry-eyes refers to this embarrassing post.)
My father said that some days ago someone brought the printout of this diary saying how wonderful it was. My father said that he smiled but could not even say that it was written by his daughter.
14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, in her 2009 diary for BBC Urdu, about life under Taliban rule.
She wrote the series under a pen name until the Taliban were driven out of Swat, after which her identity was known and she won a national award for bravery, as well as a nomination for an international children’s peace award.
On Tuesday, she was shot.
A Pakistani Taliban spokesman told the BBC they carried out the attack.
Ehsanullah Ehsan told BBC Urdu that they attacked her because she was anti-Taliban and secular, adding that she would not be spared.
Malala Yousafzai was travelling with at least one other girl when she was shot, but there are differing accounts of how events unfolded.
One report, citing local sources, says a bearded gunman stopped a car full of schoolgirls, and asked for Malala Yousafzai by name, before opening fire.
But a police official also told BBC Urdu that unidentified gunmen opened fire on the schoolgirls as they were about to board a van or bus.
She was hit in the head and, some reports say, in the neck area by a second bullet, but is now in hospital and is reportedly out of danger. Another girl who was with her at the time was also injured.