India and Citizen Journalism May 27, 2006Posted by rajAT in blog, citizen journalism, digg, india, media2.0, mom2.0, web2.0.
Last evening, I gave an overview of Web 2.0 to my mother. I told her that now people can have their own digital diaries on internet. They can express their opinion on any topic and can share it with other people. This whole phenomenon is called Blogging. She said, "It is little weird my dear, Diaries are supposed to be personal". I told her that people write their views on politics, technology, sports etc. Some of them are personal also people write about their break offs with their girl friends and boy friends but then privacy was a 20th century problem. She couldn’t really come on terms with the privacy part.
After that I started showing her some blogs. Ajit Jaokar's OpenGardens was open on my laptop. She read open gardens and exclaimed, "Rajat show me this one". The word gardens have attracted her. My mom loves gardening and her Bonsai are very famous. I chuckled and said this is not about gardening but a mobile blog. She was not happy on listening this.
After that I started telling her that Media is no longer one way. It has become a lot more participative. She was quietly thinking and I was looking at her. She then said this means that now anybody can become a reporter. I was like YESSSS!!! I have not uttered a word about citizen journalism and she got there on her own. I got very excited and told her about that the best source of information on IRAQ is not CNN or BBC but a blog. People all over the world go to that website for unbiased information on IRAQ. Next thing on my radar was Ohmynews.com. I told her that all the news items published here are submitted by common people and not journalists. This gives so much power to common people like us as now we have a big forum to express our views. I told her that now we don't need a team of senior editors to decide which is bigger news and which new item should not be printed. Thanks to Digg.com where people decide which news goes on the top and which goes on the bottom. This is WE in WEB.
She was very impressed on listening to all this. And I ended my little lecture by saying that these changes are as big as the invention of printing press.
But after that I started thinking about why citizen journalism is so easy for Indians to get. This was 3rd or 4th time when I have given an overview of Web 2.0 to a person who uses internet barely. All of them jumped at citizen journalism. I think people especially Indians have lacked forums where they are heard, a place where they can go and speak about the problems like corruption, bureaucracy that have crippled the society. I can forsee a very bigger change that our society is going to witness in near future.