Friday, October 22, 2021
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A word from Newsmakers for Citizen Journalist

Generally speaking, media has lost respect. When we say we are from media, people change their attitude. Too much of commercialization and paid news practices have blotted the profession in recent times. Elite people like Justice Khatju who condemn media’s role is fighting for ‘Freedom of Expression’ only in BJP ruling or its supporting parties’ states. Media has lost its credibility and depth.

I feel proud to say that we are the one who runs parallel media in India. Hundreds of young journalists have taken training here and established their identity in the ‘News World’. I want to invite more and more people to be a part of Newsmakers. Reporting in the recent past has become more glamorous, everyone claims that they care for you and keep you ahead but in reality, news rooms are occupied by few page3 celebrities and some same known faces. There are many intellectuals who couldn’t reach these news channels’ newsroom due to lack of exposure. We want all the intellectual people to come and express their thoughts using our platform. Be a part of the debate on the issues which are affecting you. Tell us your view and story by being a ‘Citizen Reporter (Journalist)’. Upload your area’s news and be an anchor too.

Remember, together we can fight and change our society, nation and system. Join hands with us and let’s set a new trend. We have set up an online platform to report stories that touch our lives. We’ll publish them here on The news industry is grappled with citizen journalism and the implications of a new technology empowered public. But many of the promises and worthy projects have vanished. The most exciting development in the area of news is community news concept. Many are finally beginning to tap into the growing resources of the community. This project is about people using the web to find a voice to make their communities better, because a better informed citizen leads to a better society. There are hundreds of magazines, newspapers and news channels in India but how much they reach to common man is a big question. We want you to be the representative of your own area. Help your community with their urgent issues; make your voice reach to the corridors of power.

I remember few handicap young people who reached my office with lots of anger in them; they were disappointed because we failed to give them expected coverage. They wanted us to meet all local ministers and seek justice for them, which my reporter couldn’t do. And every one has limitations to reach exactly where readers want you to be. Moreover, the group itself was confused and misguided; there were difference of opinion amongst them. I was quietly listing to them. But when one of the handicapped youth exceeded his limits of accusing the media, I couldn’t control and asked him for the solution.

He came up with beautiful ideas and then started narrating the issue. Then it struck me that the way this youth presented the issue perhaps no journalist could have done. The reason he was giving was very close to the subject and problems. I offered him a job as a reporter; I told him, why should someone speak for you or represent you? You be a mashie and help your community, I will give you media platform. He was a little skeptical initially because he was not exposed to technicalities of print and news. We told him to exactly write as he spoke, we will modify it. They couldn’t believe in their potential and strength but I trusted his abilities and pushed them into journalism. He worked with us as a sub editor for our Marathi publication, and after working for more than two and half years, he left us for better career prospects.

As a journalist or media, sometimes we forget to reach the sensitivity and depth of a subject. Every human has some hidden instinct of a journalist and reporter. He needs to be polished with art of presenting it. Believe me, what they can represent no other can attempt.

Once again, I want many such youth from different segments of society. They should come forward and address the issue. Even my reader can upload their videos and pictures, share their views and comment over current issues. Afternoon Voice is a well established existing local newspaper and it has got its site too. Local journalism projects are in top story, cover stories and much more. This experiment is just an extension where I can involve you as our army of reporters. The future doesn’t have to be based on charity. There are all sorts of viable models worth experimenting with. Local journalism is done better with the not-for-profit, mission-driven model. We are looking for your photos and video of news events. To tell your story through pictures both moving and still, which you’ve shot, just email to us or you yourself upload it on our website. Please include captions and information about the videos and photos you send, along with your name and telephone number. You can also use your camera phone to send us photos and video while you’re on the road. Remember, you’re not the spectator. You can even spread what you see and that is news, you’re agile and able to get to areas the local news anchor won’t want to go. Use this to your advantage. While reporting, you need to be aware of certain methods. Stay close to the action, but try not to get in the way. Make sure your photos/videos and words correlate. Talking about a huge police presence, but only photographing one police officer is confusing. Listen to the police commanders and whoever is heading up the activists. This is the information people want to know. They can help you to get the best photos if they have a plan. They can instruct you to run up the block because they’re getting ready to march down a street. If possible, talk to the leaders of the group. Ask them to give you a 30-second summary of what they want and why they are there. Inform the police that you are a citizen journalist, there is a chance they could give you information that will keep you out of danger. Also making your presence could be beneficial if situation starts getting crazy. If the police ask you to leave the area, turn off your camera, or generally try to bully you, follow their instructions but, document what happened.

Remember, you don’t need to stand up in front of a crowd and tell us all what’s happening. Report quickly and efficiently from the scene. Use your speed and alertness to your advantage. Good luck.

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 14 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazine Beyond The News (international). She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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