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Citizen Journalism and the 2006 Elections

<h4>The Internet and Elections Study</h4>
<ul><li>Whether/how the internet realises the democratising potential of new media</li>
<li>Whether/how the internet fills the (relatively large) alternative media space left by the mainstream media
<ul><li>Commentary / Opinion</li>
<li>Information (Citizen Journalism)</li></ul></li></ul>
<h4>Citizen Journalism</h4>
Defined in this study, citizen journalism:
<ul><li>Includes independent online publications with amateurs doing original reporting.</li>
<li>Also occurs when citizens contribute photos, video and news to mainstream news outlets.</li>
<li>Also when bloggers add personal commentary that relies on original research.</li></ul><h4>Why citizen journalism now?</h4>
There is the advent and prevalence of technologies. The regulatory framework was made clear (according to the speaker).
Note: I think the whole "persistently political" criteria wasa utterly vague and intentionally ambiguous.
In the study, Mr Brown's Bak Chor Mee podcast did not fall under citizen journalism.
A lot of numbers were given, but the main number was that the internet was the least influential communication channel, below radio, party literature and word of mouth.
The conclusion was that citizen journalism in the 2006 elections were "disappointing". Real issues weren't discussed much, where the limited subjects discussed were reactive and passive. It did, however create a space where people could discuss issues.
The speech closed with a screenshot of one of blinkymummy's readers commenting at how she was shocked that blinkymummy went to a rally and seemed indifferent because nothing was posted about the rally.
<h4>Points from the Question and Answer Session</h4>
There are good commentaries, but there is still a lot of noise on the blogosphere. We tend to take everything we read online with a pinch of salt because of the anonymity. The medium doesn't invite people who were originally disinterested to engage in discourse.
Speaker Tan Tarn How said in closing, "Video is to be feared" and went on to explain the video "reached across the living room". Being more powerful than text or pictures, political videos ought to be banned. He gave the example of someone who watched Martin See's "Singapore Rebel" vs someone who didn't, and said that those who watched the film had a different perspective of Chee Soon Juan.
Note: This totally caught me by surprise. It is utterly illogical in its argument. If Mr Tan had ever read a well written piece, or understood how literary works have shaped human history as we know it, he would probably advocate the banning or burning of books as well. I remain shocked that these things were even uttered.

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