It’s impossible to imagine civilization without the art of the gathering and transmitting of news, also know as journalism. I mean, your girlfriend, mom and sister gossip every passing second. Excuse the blatant chauvinism, just wanted to piss my girlfriend off there. But anyway, journalism is everywhere and in everyone. But what is Journalism anyway? Where does it originate from?
Origins Of Journalism
The origin of the word Journalism is “Journal” or “du jour” (just irritated myself there, there wasn’t a need for the French) which means day, where all the day’s news or the news contained in the printed sheet. Before doing my research on where Journalism originated, I just knew that in the very first sentence I will find the word Romans. Lo and behold, I was right! The history books always seem to credit the damn Romans with everything. But anyway, let me calm down and focus. Journalism comes from Acta Diurna (Daily Events), which appeared in the Roman era, where news and announcements affixed to or installed in the city center at a time when it was called the Forum Romanum. It was a daily papyrus newspaper. The Acta Diurna was distributed in locations in Rome and around the Baths. Its motto was “Publicize And Propagate.” Probably some low-grade papyrus was used for the daily publishing, no doubt one of the reasons that no scraps of the Acta Diurna have ever been found.
Journalism has rapidly evolved as the years, decades and centuries passed. The number of active journalists are growing by the second, whether qualified or not, a journalist exists in us all. There is a little journalistic bone in all of us. That bit of curiosity that pushes us into investigating the situation deeper so when reporting to an interested ear, it will feel as though they were part of or witnessing the happenings you witnessed. This is called citizen journalism. It’s also called “the threat to journalists.” It involves regular members of society providing stories, tip-offs, pictures and the like to newsrooms, which can then be published as news (but hopefully no one goes overboard in a Jake Gyllenhaal kind of way). But fellow journos, there is light at the end of this tunnel as there’s no need to worry, because the members of the public merely provide information-and not necessarily facts-which then enables journalists to further investigate the issue at hand. Citizens are also not taken to task when they provide false statements, meaning that reporters still need to verify the accuracy and newsworthiness of any information that they supply.
Mzansi media and citizen journalism have had quite a rocky relationship. South Africans generally love journalists and journalism, but don’t say that to Etv journalist Jody Jacobs and cameraman Linge Ndabambi who in 2011 were attacked by violent protesters in Ermelo. Citizen journalism has bridged the gap between journalists and their audience in varying communities. Citizen journalists are mandated by their respective communities to research the root causes of their biggest challenges, produce call to action films as a tool to get the community to stand together, find effective solutions and seek support to drive social change. So if you ask me if citizen journalism has a place in South African media, I say hell yeah it does! Real everyday stories from real everyday people is what needed for the betterment of our nation as this plays an enormous role in creating informative conversations and conversations of understanding between the people and the media. SA media should definitely care about citizen journalism.
P.S. To all journalists out there, I was kidding when I said citizen journalism is also known as “the threat to journalists”… Or was I? **evil grin**
‘Till Next Time Peeps, BHA-BHAYINI!