Project 1 - Citizen Journalism

On Citizen Journalism in general:

'Taking a picture, a video and giving an account of an event no matter how good the quality, does not make one a journalist but an eyewitness.'

'Citizen journalism is to journalism what democracy, the active participation of citizens, in politics and civic life, is to governance. It involves active participation of citizens in newsgathering and reporting. Alternative journalism plays the multiple roles of exposing corruption, encouraging accountability, documenting abuses of power, and giving alternative views on local and international current affairs.'

Citizen journalism in society and its impact on traditional journalism. 2015. Citizen journalism in society and its impact on traditional journalism. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.smainternational.info/en/featured-news/1415-citizen-journalism-in-society-and-its-impact-on-traditional-journalism-an-analysis. [Accessed 24 November 2015].

When thinking about particular images the one that comes to mind first is the one of the 3 year old boy who drowned and was found on the beach and how overnight the public opinion about refugees changed for the better and European politicians were called to action. The power of this image lied in the way the boy was isolated in the frame and was lying down in a way that is very familiar to anybody who has had babies. It immediately touched a human cord in people who beforehand were very negative about the incoming stream of immigrants.

I wonder about the objectivity in this image. I think the photographer didn't change anything about the boy's position before he took the photograph because it was obviously taken from a distance. He or She was very good at compositing it in such a way to give it the effect it had. It also showed images that were taken afterwards when a beach guard picked up the boy and carried it away, which brings more context to the story. 

Arguments for:
Immediate response to news
Insider's viewpoint
Easy access to news
Quick distribution to news outlets
Personal connection to the news
Because of the involvement of the photographer in the subject, it might focus on issues that are deeper than the seemingly issue that's on the surface first.
Photographer has prior knowledge of scene before the event took place.
 

Arguments against:
Questionable objectivity
Poor image quality
Less regards to anonimity of sources, respect for privacy and careful consideration for the effects of the images.

I have found that there is no such thing as being objective and the way to work with that is to be aware fo the fact that you're not. In knowing your shortcomings and the fact that there is always so much more besides and behind what is seen I can make conscious decisions on what I frame when photographing. I guess that a trained photojournalist is aware of the fact that he or she is there for a short period of time and most of the time sees a scene after the news event has taken place, therefor has no prior knowledge to the changes that have happened, which will probably also reflect on the images.