Interrogating the Concept of ‘Citizens' Media': Do We Know All We Need to Know about It and Its Impact?

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:45
Location: Hörsaal 23 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Zanetta JANSEN, University of South Africa, South Africa
This paper explores, in-depth, the concept of ‘citizens' media’ and what it means for a sociology of communication in an age of globalization. The concept originated with the actions of ordinary people from civil society, citizens, who use technologies such as cellular phones or smart phones to capture real live events and then upload these, usually instantaneously after capturing, to social network platforms. The paper addresses the unintended social activist element outcome of such actions, the phenomenon of citizens' media as a challenge to mainstream professional journalism and its code of ethics, and the ethics and morality around seeing a live body being burned on social media platforms – recalling the sacrifice of a young 26 year old Egyptian whom escalated the reforms and transformations of that society in 2010 by an act of self-sacrifice or was it?  Digital Media Social Networking theory is alluded to in the paper.