“Citizen Journalism is an excellent form of knowledge democracy”. Following are the words quoted by Mr. Owais Mangalwala, producer of renowned programs like “State of Sharia” and “Wired and active” on Dawn News Channel. He is associated with Dawn since 2007 and is currently producing and anchoring the show “Citizen Journalism”.
He addressed a seminar on Citizen Journalism at Jinnah University for Woman on 29th Jan 2011. Answering a question he himself posed, Mr. Mangalwala explained that when a citizen wants the world to view things from his perspective then he is termed as a citizen journalist. The basic motive of Citizen Journalism is to provide audiences with the tools so that they may communicate and report news to each other.
He elucidated the following types of journalism
1. Sharing of experience
2. Sharing of opinion
3. Sharing of discovery
4. Sharing of expertise
Mr. Mangalwala explained the fact that a media organization is in constant need of people. Through this platform we can correct the media as well as highlight core and non-core issues.
Following are the key points of Citizen Journalism illustrated by him
1. The necessity to be real
2. Remember that everything and anything can be reported
3. Write and express your point of view
4. Never underestimate yourself
5. Be descriptive but never exaggerate
6. Accuracy is the key
7. Use of correct grammar
8. Follow a code of conduct
9. Avoid plagiarism
10. Expand your knowledge on the art of reporting
11. Find a mentor
12. Take feedback and implement it
He said that a journalist should perform his duty in a fruitful manner only then can the audience decipher the difference between news and noise. Realizing the external pressures on media, he interperated that though Citizen Journalism might not play a huge role in the development of the society but it is surely a step towards bringing a positive change. Dawn News Channel is also trying to organize an awarding and certificating ceremony for Citizen Journalists.
The seminar is followed by a survey on Dawn News Channel morning show “Mast Morning” hosted by Maira Khan.