Journalist, who are they?
Before this tech-savvy generation, I can safely tell you that journalists are the people you see on the news and the people who writes reports for the newspaper. Right now, it is difficult to tell who journalists really are.
Of course, those on the television and newspapers are still journalists, but there are more now. With the advent of camera phones and suitable platforms, we have all become journalists. A word was coined, to describe “journalists” like us — citizen journalism.
Singapore’s very own, STOMP, is one such platform where citizens can take photos, write reports and publish it. It is exactly what citizens are encouraged to do.
At first the idea was really novel, and the benefits filled a long list. With this new platform, we get first-hand information, photos, videos, any media that can help document the incident or event. More importantly, we get real time publishing and updates. STOMP could be a good thing. For example:
We get first hand reports, at the point when the incident happens like in the above picture.
We can also provide information that is otherwise unattainable because reporters cannot get into the train as shown above.
We also get to film footage that would have otherwise be unavailable when the reporter eventually gets to the scene.
What we filmed can also become evidence for further investigation.
To aid this new journalism method, STOMP developed mobile applications for smart phones to encourage on-the-spot publishing.
This application made it so easy for anyone to generate content. So easy that what could be a good thing, turned out to be a catastrophe (to me, at least).
Very soon, the novelty wore off. People are still generating content for this online “newspaper” but they became whiny. This is what I mean by whiny.
64 pages of whiny “reports” like these. We know that it is very wrong for these people to hog seats, be inconsiderate, and all but these posts are being generated so often that STOMP gave it its own category: Ugly Commuters.
Like I said, STOMP could be a good thing, but Singaporeans are turning STOMP into a complain forum. This not only tarnishes the value of citizen journalism, but caused the whole idea of citizen journalism to backfire. Singaporeans should be more discerning when it comes to “reporting” something. We should learn to differentiate what is important and what is just plain whining in order for citizen journalism to be useful.