We All Can Be Citizen Journalists

by Anne Wayman

Frugal Dad, which talks about coupons, careers and money, created an Infographic about how smart phone cameras are going a long way toward replacing professional photo journalism.

It’s an interesting look at how the iPhone and other smart phones in the hands of regular folks are both capturing and selling hard news photos and how the same devices work with social media and give the formerly un- or poorly-heard minorities a real voice.

iphone journalism

Source: http://frugaldad.com

Here in San Diego on the boarder there have been several instances where cell phones apparently have been confiscated during Boarder Patrol arrests. An editorial in the Los Angeles Times called “What’s Going On With the Boarder Patrol” sheds some light on the power of smart phones and the possible civil rights violations. It’s interesting that this is in the U.S. Most of us are pretty well aware of how smart phones and social media have facilitated say The Arab Spring.

What’s your take on the roll of smart phone cameras and civil rights? 

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth West May 4, 2012 at 9:41 am

I don’t have a smartphone yet so I carry a point-and-shoot Kodak EasyShare camera in my purse. I found it invaluable to take photos I can use on my blog, or for antique furniture in flea markets I can’t afford yet would like to reproduce in miniature.

But taking pictures of people without their permission — that I don’t do. And we have to remember there are human beings on the other side of some of these photo ops. The worst thing I ever saw on the internet was a video someone took of an appallingly injured (cop? security guy?) man in the street in some Asian country (don’t ask me how I found it) and all these people were running up and snapping photos with their phones. I don’t know if anyone called for help. NOT ONE PERSON in the crowd went up to the man and talked to him, comforted him, or even covered him–the injury was freakishly bad. They were all going *clickclickclick*. 😛
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annew May 7, 2012 at 7:53 am

yuck… I hope I’d help before I took pix.

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Carol April 25, 2012 at 7:34 am

Citizen journalism is very attention grabbing post. I love it and I enjoy it. thanks for this.

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annew April 25, 2012 at 9:05 am

You’re welcome, Carol.

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Gilbert P. April 25, 2012 at 7:32 am

The quality of photos I take with my iphone4s is really good. And though I do not use them for journalism, I believe that they are useful to those who does. And as far as I know, there are even lenses now made for smartphones to enhance their quality. Have you ever seen those lenses?

Thanks for sharing this!

-Girlbert

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annew April 25, 2012 at 9:05 am

You’re welcome, Gilbert.

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Lori April 25, 2012 at 5:20 am

Interesting post. I think the cell camera is helping to back up the rights of ordinary citizens in a number of cases, but it’s also damning people unfairly when taken out of context. They’re tools, but they’re only as reliable as the filters we put them through.

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annew April 25, 2012 at 8:56 am

All tools are subject to wrong use… thinking hammer at the moment. Unfortunately, phones are way too easy to track.

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Luella April 25, 2012 at 4:51 am

Citizen journalism app coming from a young enterpreneur. We are talking about Signal and Mark Malkoun. Signal represents something that should become favorite for citizen journalists. This photojournalism app will provide to all interested citizens great way for reporting and finding news.
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annew April 25, 2012 at 8:55 am

No clue what you’re talking about, Luella… can you put it in English for a baby boomer?

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Sarah Reece April 25, 2012 at 12:46 am

Well the genie is already out of the bag. There is absolutely no way, the smart phone cams can be stopped. But a few things should be made mandatory (like no feature to turn off sound whenever a pic is clicked). Several instances have been reported where young couples in the heat of the moment capture their private time with their phones to regret later.

P.S.: They turn out to be handy in cases where human rights have been violated like at times in Afghanistan & Iraq.
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annew April 25, 2012 at 8:53 am

I want a device over a doorway to concerts etc. that turn all cell phones to vibrate… I hate it when they ring in the middle of anything.

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