Transparency and Citizen Journalists

4 May

The naked transparency movement marries the power of network technology to the radical decline in the cost of collecting, storing, and distributing data. Its aim is to liberate that data, especially government data, so as to enable the public to process it and understand it better, or at least differently. (Lessig, Lawrence, 2010)

As media technologies continue to develop and advance, we as individuals have been granted multiple opportunities, allowing us to actively participate in the journalistic process of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information, also known as the act of citizen journalism. However, as citizen journalists, we are not only restricted to weblogs. Everyone and anyone is engaging in new forms of participation applications. This engagement is what We Media describes as participatory journalism. This accessibility to such content has indeed transformed and influenced our historical political, and cultural boundaries through the exposure of participatory news, data and facts. The spreading of ‘unprofessional’ pubic perception, ideas and opinions through modern applications such as text messaging is in fact killing traditional journalism. Andrew Murphie uses the example of the Rebekah Brooks phone-hacking sandal found here, as a form of digital, unprofessional journalism.

This brings me to this weeks topic, Transparency. Media transparency ‘deals with the way the media is viewed to the public today and concerns why the media may portray something the way that it does.’ This type of communication can heavily influence and alter change whether it is political or social as social media participation will deermine whether or not certain data is accepted by the government. There is no doubt that social participation is more likely to expose biased information, which can severely affect public policy. However, depending on how transparent the news article is by an unprofessional journalist, whether or not the information provided is reliable or accurate can easily be verified by readers who are then able to draw their own opinions. Robert M. Entman once stated “the only means of influencing what people think is precisely to control what they think about.” (Entman, R. 1990)

Web2.0 is therefore shifting power to the audience as they are continuously being emerced in this concept through the provision of various platforms in which they can voice their opinions as well as the opportunity to access and interact with political leaders.


Robert M. Entman (1990) – ‘Democracy without citizens: the decay of American politics’ (1990) pg. 75

Wikipaedia – Media transparency (2012)

Lessig, Lawrence (2010) ‘Against Transparency: The perils of openness in government.’<,0>


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