Now, I am happy to confession I am a facebook Junkie and I think that a lot of people would nod in agreement. The other day I nearly sent my friend Sam into a fit when I emailed her some startling news that our mutual friend Jesse had just deleted Facebook as she “wasted to much time on it and need to finish her uni degree”. Sam was shocked. And couldn’t believe the social suicide Jesse had just committed. Sam replied “Some people surf, some read, some even whale watch, but I, I Facebook.” Has Facebook really become a listable hobby? Why are we all so obsessed? And where did it all begin? For me the beginning was MySpace.
As Twitter detractor’s often sneer that nothing of value can be said in 140 characters. The UK Parliament and The Guardian newspaper would now beg to differ. When reporter Alan Rusbridger, left the office on a Monday evening after a frustrating day, after lawyer Carter-Ruck persuade a judge to suppress a confidential but embarrassing document which has fallen into journalists’ hands on the Trafigura fiasco. Rusbridger’s tweet:
“Now Guardian prevented from reporting parliament for unreportable reasons. Did John Wilkes live in vain?”
These 15 words sent internet uses into battle to reveal all, marking a historical victory for the power of the internet after a gagging attempt on routine act of journalism.
The results are unparallel. As Rusridger writes
“By lunchtime – an hour before we were due in court – Trafigura threw in the towel. The textbook stuff – elaborate carrot, expensive stick – had been blown away by a newspaper together with the mass collaboration of total strangers on the web. Trafigura thought it was buying silence. A combination of old media – the Guardian – and new – Twitter – turned attempted obscurity into mass notoriety.”
Is this a lesson of the times on how to usesocial media for the greater good. The internet is an important tool for freedom of speech and used correctly it can seek justice.
Read the full story here:
The Trafigura fiasco tears up the textbook
Trafigura: A few tweets and freedom of speech is restored
The profession of photojournalism – an investigation into objectivity, principles and ethics
In 2004 Ahmed Jadallah won the World Press Photo of the Year Award for his image of refugees in the Gaza Strip. The picture was taken in March 2003 in the aftermath of an Isreali tank attack in Jabalya refugee camp. At the time Jadallah and his group had been hit by a bomb. Jadallah describes the incident stating “It’s really hard, you know, to see people dying in front of you and I was feeling that I was also dying.” (cited in Leith, 2004, p. 200) He then describes a big hole opening up in the ground and he felt he was falling. After waking up he realised he too was injured. “My legs had been broken, I thought I was dying, and I couldn’t move but I did my job and I took pictures of the dead people beside me.” (cited in Leith, 2004, p. 201) Ahmed Jadallah’s picture captures the horrific scene, the brutal reality, the chaos and the sad truth of death and conflict. Jadallah claims there were no gunmen in the vicinity when they were attacked, only civilians. Ahmed Jadallah’s story, like many other photojournalists, allow us to see the need for photojournalism as a powerful voice within society as well as the danger of the profession and ethical and moral issues involved. “For me I don’t have any power, only the hope that there is change and only the ability to try my best as a journalist, as a photographer to show what is going on.” (cited in Leith, 2004, p. 203)Jadallah’s humble words poignantly reflect the essential role of photojournalism – to inform and educate the world. Continue reading
“If you don’t like the news…. go out and make some of your own.” — Wes “Scoop” Nisker
Nisker’s words can be a tribute to citizen journalism today. I thought it’d be good to compile a list of organisations where people are making some news of there own. Here is a list of citizen journalism publications,that are demonstrating the strength of this new media platform: Continue reading