Citizen Journalism

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Session Citizen journalism

Facilitator - Clement led this discussion. Collaborative discussion agents: Kevin, Aijamal, Kumar, Andy, Kyo, Petra, one forgotten name.

This session was an open discussion about citizen journalism and open translation. The group shared their experiences, thoughts, successes and frustrations around the idea of citizen journalism.

Within the group were representatives from organisations:

    • that had been long established and produce content but how currently do not have the functionality for translation or subtitling of content.
    • Where the translation of content developed more organically - at the initiative of individuals doing volunteer translation of blog posts - and where functionality currently works by using English as a bridge language for translation.
    • Who were working on localising tools that would help to support the production of content and facilitate translation of that content.
    • Who were using great tools already but those tools were only currently functional for one language pair.
    • Who were working with in more authoritarian regimes and working to create, maintain and protect platforms for the expression of alternative viewpoints and looking at what can be done to expand such emergent spaces where ordinary people can express viewpoints.
    • Who were working at the level of training and education for specific groups (ethnic/language communities, youth, marginalised communities etc.. ) around the concept of citizen journalism and basic skills needed to support the production and dissemination of content (video, blogging, vlogging etc)

The group talked about citizen journalism and some of the issues around 'reporting news' including:

    • defining the concept of citizen journalism is difficult in some contexts and this can undermine its recognition as authentic.
    • how to deal with concerns of authenticity and implement ways of reviewing, tracking original source materials, fact-checking etc.
    • Training around citizen journalism as a skill and around the use of various technologies.
    • how to keep the discussion of reporting ethics alive at the level of citizen journalism
    • Whether there needs to be so much pressure on 'going global' when the effectiveness of the reporting and information may be more appropriate to the local level - when is translation important to do or not.
    • Mainstream media is not always open to accepting citizen journalism as authentic

The group talked about other issues including:

    • internet access, tech awareness, literacy etc..
    • many people doing citizen journalism are not aware of the tools for translation or other options for broader dissemination.
    • does everyone need their own platform/destination site or is it better/more strategic to try to collaborate with existing platforms with developed reputations. Maybe what matters most is the local setting and we overestimate the need for global communication.
    • The general trend in implementation of tools for translation is through a top-down approach or post-content approach rather than integrated at the level of production by citizen journalists.

The group talked about tools for translation:

    • There was the feeling that we need better tools and tool-integration - the basic modules/components are there but we need better integration and it needs to be scalable and adaptable to the context it is operating in and the needs of the users/goal
    • what about mobile technologies
    • how to use, create, access, shared/collaborative translation memory/memories