Thursday, January 29, 2009

How training can help citizen journalists

David Sasaki, the Latin American blogger who also operates Rising Voices, has an IdeaLab post in which he supports training programs for citizen journalists.
As Juliana and I emphasized during a presentation at last year's MobileActive conference in South Africa, just because over three billion people are equipped with cell phones, which can be used as tools for reporting during emergencies, that doesn't mean the world has three billion citizen journalists ready and able to cover every natural disaster, political uprising, and news-worthy event they encounter.

The recent coverage of Tropical Storm Eric, Cyclone Fanele, and the ongoing protests and political turmoil in Madagascar by local citizen journalists reveals the importance of 1.) citizen journalism training programs, 2.) the translation and contextualization of local content for a global audience, and 3.) networks of media groups so that local voices can be amplified and understood when breaking news hits.

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