Citizen journalism can be hard to define as the meaning can vary widely depending on the purpose and formulation of it. According to Rosen (2008): ‘‘When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another, that’s citizen journalism.’’ It is also described in Oxford Dictionary that citizen journalism is “the collection, dissemination, and analysis of news and information by the general public, especially by means of the Internet.” The citizen journalism is an open process with the absence of authority and gatekeeping, and due to its advancing technology, it is never finished in its development.
There are many benefits to citizen journalism. Viber with its various different features can be an excellent sample for citizen journalism and collective intelligence accessible to the public. Viber gives its users the chance to share information and news without being insecure of whether the word is spread to the public or not. The application proves to the fact that professional reporters are not accessible at everywhere every time, especially if there is a breaking news event just on the spot. It is where the traditional ‘passive’ audience is turned to ‘active’ audience today and start to use the internet to alert the general public by sharing the information on spot, while also being able to provide images or recordings of the event. This form of journalism supplied by Viber encourages more and more people to share information up to date around the globe.
In terms of Produsage, there is always a kind of consciousness of people’s creativity, accessibility, and contribution. Moving towards the variety of communication viber has opened to its users; there are Organizational Shift and Fluid Movements of Produsage, (Bruns 2007) among the collective users. The dynamic shift from 1:1 chatting of traditional media to multi level communication that we do today like group communication is accessible in Viber. Viber gives one particular user the ability of shifting roles between ‘reporter’ and ‘reader’. Viber also allows the ability to create different chat groupings, which helps the user to be conscious and aware when in terms of communicating with certain group of people. For instance, a user can be casual communicating in one chat group (mostly close friends or family) whilst chat formally in another chat group (business related conference or officemates and bosses). The grouping of communication available in Viber shows the fluid movement of roles where the user can be the moderator of one group while be a passive reader in another group.
Furthermore, Viber uses new stickers to the market which characterizes the Unfinished of Produsage (Bruns 2007). It upgrades and adds newer versions of attractive stickers for their users more and more over time, where the users tend to utilize always the latest stickers when communication among their friends.
Produsers engage not in a traditional form of content production, but are instead involved in produsage – the collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement. (Bruns 2007)
In addition, it gives the ability for users who have not yet installed a certain group of stickers, the choice and permission to add on that particular sticker group to their app in terms of Permissive (Bruns 2007).
Bruns, Axel (2007) Produsage: Towards a broader framework for user-led content creation, in ‘Creativity and Cognition: Proceedings’, 6th edition, ACM Publishers, Washington D.C, pp 99
Lewis, S, Kaufhold, K, & Lasorsa, D 2010, ‘THINKING ABOUT CITIZEN JOURNALISM’, Journalism Practice, 4, 2, pp. 163-179, Communication & Mass Media Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 11 May 2014.