Strangled citizens- an exploratory study on the empowerment of citizen journalists

From Iskomunidad

Toraja, M.F.B. (2012). Strangled Citizens: An Exploratory Study on the Empowerment of Citizen Journalists. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines, College of Mass Communication.

Nowadays, a growing number of people around the globe are accessing the Internet for various reasons. Through the years the Internet has played a major role in changing and improving the way people communicate. With the flourishing of the Internet, people could post anything on the Web which leads to the concept of empowerment in terms of expressing themselves online. At the present time, media practitioners are not the sole sources of news since people who were consumers of news then can now make and report news themselves.

This thesis explores citizen journalism (on the Internet) in the Philippine setting. To provide a better understanding of the phenomenon, this research delved on comparing the citizen journalism practice in the Philippines to the global practice. A comparative analysis of GMA 7’s YouScoop and OhmyNews, which is considered as pioneer in citizen journalism, is included in this research. Employing Hamelink’s concept of Empowerment, Political Economy Approach, theories such as Expectancy-Value, Framing, Gatekeeping , Systems, and Star, the researcher found out that empowered citizens journalists get disempowered. Due to the commercial character of the network and news making process, citizens get strangled. The mass becomes voiceless.

Keywords: empowerment, GMA 7, citizen journalism, movement

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