Citizen Journalism, Social Media and Malaysian Socio-Political Climate
Citizen journalism convention has become a worldwide trend practiced voluntarily by the consumers of online media. It has opened a platform for citizens to disseminate news, free comments about the latest issues and demonstrate their expressions to criticize individuals or parties that they do not favour on the Internet. Citizen journalism has become a powerful weapon for individuals, organisations, political actors or parties to attract voters and potential voters. In fact, this occurrence has given full authority to the writer to write, share and toss opinions towards targeted individuals or groups. It is generally perceived as bad practice because the news or content is apparently lacking in credibility and does not meet the criteria of good journalism. However, although recent issues of citizen journalism have created confusion and chaos between ethnic groups and the government, its advantage and firmness is in creating a balance of news distribution. This paper aims to discuss the practice of citizen journalism in Malaysia and highlight its impact in the country’s socio-political climate. In-depth interviews with nine respondents were conducted to analyse the research objectives. Findings show that citizen journalism has changed the landscape of socio-political environment with unfiltered or unreliable news that flood online portals, it gives opportunities for citizens to freely criticise the government. Thus, citizen journalism is seen as intrusive and afflicting the government. In addition, with the level of transparency on political information and news on the rise, the practice of citizen journalism and mainstream media journalism is competing to be faster than the other in the delivery of news, and speculations surrounding the nation today.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, University of Technology Mara, Malaysia
Publication date: August 1, 2017
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