Arab spring leads surge in events captured on cameraphones

February 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

while reading an article from the guardian by David Batty titled “Arab spring leads surge in events captured on camera phones”

The article talks about what happens when the press and photojournalists and journalists can’t reach areas such as war and danger zones, because of all the new technologies we have today and the vast availability of it and social media that when news reportage can’t be attained there now is always a way to still get the story and find out what is going on, where in the past we have not know about such event we can know go on the web and see everything in the heat of a war, This is one area that social media is impacting on and really comes into its own.

Faris Couri, editor in chief of BBC Arabic, said they have seen a fourfold increase in the use of user generated images and video. The material led investigations, for example, when a tank appeared to fire on a school early in the Egyptian revolution. Journalists found there were escaped prisoners hiding in the building.

He said: “On the rare occasion journalists got access to Syria, they were accompanied by the authorities, so the unrestricted user content balanced the coverage. During the last year it became the norm, people realised the situation demands this and it’s impossible to rely on professionals.”

It’s not just the members of public using social media and smart phone but the journalists themselves now use the same methods to report, it’s has become easier to record and report using a small mobile device rather than having tones of equipment and it also means it is safer for them while in war zones, so the social media reportage is not always threatening the professional photojournalist but it is aiding them and this is part of the new business model and their way of adapting to technologies, if you can beat them join them.

Also propaganda can happen more with citizen journalism but it is also stopped by camera phone being around, the government can’t just leak certain bits of a news story because there is always someone around with a camera phone that could have the whole story that the government may or may not want you to see.

“An example is the horrible picture of the Egyptian female protester who was stripped on the floor by army soldiers as they brutally beat and humiliated her. While that was a Reuters picture, supporters of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces claimed the picture was fake. Then an amateur video appeared leading Scaf to admit that it did indeed happen.”

On 18 December when there was a TV blackout of coverage of the occupation of the cabinet building in Cairo, Abdulla said the only footage came from a protester transmitting live online via his mobile phone.

“That signal was being watched by over 12,000 people at that time. “Gone are the days when governments will be able to hide their crimes by prohibiting TV stations and journalists from being on the scene. Everyone on the scene is a citizen journalist, and everyone is documenting while protesting.”



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