Citizen Journalism platforms like Youth Ki Aawaz and Citizen Matters are changing the course of journalism in India today
Platforms like the ‘Youth Ki Aawaz’, which report on LGBTQ issues, politics and pop culture and ‘Citizen Matters’ are changing the way we consume news today and are coming out as a viable option.
“Citizen Journalism is required for two reasons: First, to break the top-down system of the media that exists today where many organizations have monopolized narratives, and have monopolized what constitutes as news, plus have monopolized on discourses and topics,” said Rajkanya Mahapatra, a former journalist at Youth Ki Aawaz.
“Citizen Journalism is also the only way for more representative voices to come out. We come across real people’s true stories in all their glory. There are a few lines that citizen journalism communities have to adhere to – which are basic in nature. These being you can’t hate on people, and to get your facts right.” added Mahapatra.
When asked whether Citizen Journalism is been able to carve out a separate space for itself? Rajkanya said: “Platforms are very few in number, a lot more could be done. It’s a fight of traditional media vs. modern media. In the future, modern media can facilitate a conversation, where traditional media can turn to community-driven narratives.”
“But it will take time as the current media works on a very strict system of demand and supply which has sort of dictated their market hegemony till date.”
“To become a citizen journalist one must have a nose for news and understand that one cannot take liberty with facts. If something is happening at 8:40, it should be reported as 8:40,” explained Mahapatra.
“On a citizen journalism platform, several filters are used before an article is published. The editors do fact-checking. The single most important pro about this form of journalism is it is not driven by a motive to earn a profit.”
“Citizen Journalism will bring to the forefront stories that are unheard and unseen so far. It sort of liberates ordinary citizens, who do citizen journalism as a democratizing process,” added the former Youth Ki Aawaz Journalist.