Arab Spring of 2011 can be considered a milestone in Citizen Journalism. Scores of individuals have covered the events in a way that traditional journalism could not. Truth, stories, videos and images captured when and where they happened. No need to wait for the Media vehicle to reach for the images to be streamed. Images of protesters from Tahrir Square urging President Mubarrak to step down are something that show the power of smart phone in the hand of the citizen activist.
Closer home, we have many heartening cases of potholes being repaired after Citizen journalists took images and uploaded. Same is the case of garbage disposal issue in Srinagar, or the many other incidents that have been brought to the notice of the population just because some on had a smart phone in their hand and the presence of mind to capture the image.
Uploading the video you shot, no problem. Airtel4G comes to your rescue. With 4G services rolled across 296 cities, it does not matter where you are. If you have the presence of mind to capture the scene in an image or a video, Airtel will beam it through their wide network instantaneously. With smart phones increasingly being available in every one’s hands and the capabilities increasing rapidly, the satellite link being taken care of Airtel, we are all set to have citizens move from arm chair critics to smart phone activists.
Cost should also not be an issue. Airtel is providing 4G services at the price of 3G itself. Can it get easier than that. Yes is does. Get the 4G sim delivered to you right at the door step. All you need to do is send a tweet to #GetAirtel4G. Get the sim, wear your Journalist Jacket and go find an issue worth reporting. Be the driver of the change you want to see in the society we live in.
There are many apps for the mobile phones for the wannabe journalists. With 4G services becoming the de facto communication standard, at least in the cities, there is a surge in the availability of apps for the citizen aka mobile reporter. In addition to Whatsapp and Skype, there are many which will allow editing of the voice and the video content before uploading so that the news and broadcasting stations can use them in their programming.
There is one caveat though. Validate and verify the source and details before publishing. Be careful of the viral nature of the social media content. Use discretion and sensitivity when reporting or taking images and videos so that it does not violate the privacy of an individual. Events however true might impact the social fabric of the society some times. Great care should be taken when these kind of events are reported.
Power is with us, the people. With great power comes greater responsibility.