The face of journalism as we know it is changing. News organisations and governments no longer get to decide what we know and what we don't. Who or what brought about this emancipation? Technology in the form of smart gadgets and social media with its unprecedented reach.
In fact we now live in an era where the power of independent journalism is giving established news organisations a run for their money. For one who was a reporter with such a media group, I say this is good news!
I don't know how it is done in other countries. But here in Malaysia, if we are dealing with - The private scandal of a politician from the ruling party, something that makes an opposition politician look good, racially tinged issues and epidemics to quote a few, there is usually a certain amount of filtering that is done before the news reaches the public.
It has been a few years since I left journalism, so I don't know to what extent things have changed. It must have, at least a little. There's more competition now - internet news sites, blogs and the Independent Journalist.........
The Rise of a New Phenomenon
This happened in America, but I think it's a sign of things to come. On Tuesday when police raided New York's Zucoti Park, members of the media were denied access to the park in the pandemonium that followed. But the public were not denied updates and live coverage on what was happening. How so?
Tim Pool a 25 year old protester from Chicago switched on the camera of his Samsung Galaxy S II and began streaming live from Ustream (A website which provides a platform for lifecasting and live video streaming) to more than 100,000 viewers.
|Inspired by his coverage, people brought him batteries, food and water to support his reporting marathons.|
Pool is a part of The Other 99, an independent media group that has been covering the Occupy Wall Street movement for several weeks now. One of the objectives of the group is to provide real time coverage of events on the ground.
The Other 99 has successfully used social networks to gain leverage as the main news source for the movement. Reports, photos and videos are posted everyday on http://www.wearetheother99.com/
Pool and his compatriots say they aren't satisfied with American mainstream media coverage. Saying such news organisations are corrupted by the corporate world. In his updates, he often tells his audience that he's here to show what is really going on.
People like Pool are a rising phenomena, not just in America but everywhere. The face of journalism as we know it is changing. Imagine the possibilities - real time reporting of conflicts from citizens who are caught up in it. Not polished reports sent in by newswires or publications that are favourable to the countries/parties involved.