Citizen Journalism is a growing phenomenon worldwide and has become a vital source of non-selective information as well as an important tool to strengthen democracy, said speakers at a workshop at Punjab University on Tuesday.
The workshop, arranged by Individualland Pakistan in partnership with the Freidrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), aimed to define the concept of citizen journalism as well as raise awareness of how it could be practised via social media. It also aimed to find ways to improve the quality of social journalism in Pakistan and to make people aware of its potential to strengthen democracy.
Journalists from print and electronic media, environmentalists, students and human rights activists attended the seminar. Farhan Khalid served as the speaker whereas Shaukat Ali Ashraf moderated the workshop.
Khalid started proceedings by giving an overview of the evolution of media in the last two decades globally and in Pakistan. The speaker linked the rise of citizen journalism globally to the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York, and in this country to the massive earthquake which jolted northern Pakistan on October 8, 2005.
The participants of the workshop were introduced to blogging and micro-blogging through websites such as WordPress and Twitter. Apart from making accounts of these websites, they were made to write comments on various blogs. The letter to the editor, podcasts and video blogs were also discussed as various avenues of citizen journalism.
Khalid presented local and international examples of successful citizen journalism. He also spoke about the dangers of irresponsible citizen journalism.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2013.
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