I came home last night from the Vancouver Meetup of Third Tuesday.
The subject was Social Media and the 2010 Olympics: The Future of Citizen Journalism.
I had been to tweetups before, but never one from this group, or one as large… (150 people RSVP’d)
It was held at the Vancouver Pub Ceilis.
The questions posed, were ones that had not occurred to me… because I had not believed I was Media. I did not apply for credentials, because I felt my reporting held no weight, and that I had no journalistic background to fall back on. (I have to believe that just because my father worked for the BBC, CKWX and the CBC… I did not inherit a typewriter and fedora as a birth right.)
However, I DID report on events at, and surrounding the Games.
Some of my pieces had an Editorial Slant.
I do not get “paid” for any posts I have put on my Blog, and I do not receive, expect or accept any “freebies”.
When I write a review of a Tea Shop, an Art Opening or a Restaurant… I pay for what I receive, and try to make notes and take pictures surreptitiously, so as not to draw attention to myself, or garner exceptional service.
Yes, I had an ad on my Blog, selling the “Beyond Blogging” book… but I bought the book myself, before I was offered the opportunity to sell it, as an affiliate.
My niece is enrolled in the Journalism Program at Kwantlen. I have a number of friends who are “accredited” media, and report on events, varying from the Provincial budget to missing children.
But I hadn’t EVER thought of myself, as Media.
I guess that I have to accept that, as we saw at the 2010 Games, Social Media IS having an effect on mainstream Media… and I am a very small part of that.
It was mentioned that CTV wasn’t going to broadcast the Paralympic Opening Ceremony on the night it happened… until Social Media caught wind, and applied pressure, and CTV changed their plans. (In BC, at least.)
I guess that is part of the larger question… but the rules are being made up, as we go along.
I know that when I write something, I take responsibility for it, and believe everything I write, to be factual, and correct. I stand behind what I say, and have taken “heat” for voicing my opinions on, amongst other things, Parliament being summarily prorogued.
The opinions on my Blog, are expressly my own, and although I don’t say that anywhere, I believe it is implied in the tagline: A brief and terrifying journey through the mind, music and musings of Bob Gray.
A media collaboration campaign to encourage social coverage of major events, highlight emerging media and provide a venue for discussing the increasing use of social media in society, particularly at events of global importance like the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver Canada.
I believe that Media is changing. Social Media is causing Mainstream Media to adapt and evolve. The way that we receive our news, and the sources of that news, are changing. The face of Media itself, is evolving.
I embrace that change, and welcome the evolution towards a grass roots Media, from what seemed to be a few massive News conglomerates, with vested interests.
However, I don’t know that I am prepared to call myself a Citizen Journalist… even though, by participating in Social Media, we all are becoming that.
I guess I’ve got some evolving of my own to do !!!