DIY Media For Journalism

When talking about the online journalism, we cannot neglect the importance of Web 2.0. Web 2.0 became notable after the first O’Reily Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004. It was caused by the movement to the Internet as platform and based on network effects created by‘architecture of participation’. It is a social phenomenon aiming to enhance the creativity and functionality of the web.

Significantly, Web 2.0 promotes the changing attitudes and improved freedom of sharing and re-uses information.  There is an increasingly “DIY media” in an automated age. Once people participate in the activity, they could become experts through their involvement. Web 2.0 reflects the shift from HTML to XML, which allows individuals to extend the hunting-and-gathering abilities via Internet. Compared with HTML, XML focuses more on content rather than formatting and it leads to easily transferred and indexed information. “DIY media” has spread widely over the traditional media.

These DIY culture and User-generated content media has huge influence on both ordinary people and professional journalists.

Firstly, YouTube is a video sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips. People could broadcast themselves to the whole world and develop their own audience. Meanwhile, if you are interested with other videos, you can communicate with users about shared interests. (YouTube Website) YouTube provides chances for expressing yourselves through video. Further more, it is also a social networking tool to meet new people and be part of a community.

Secondly, Facebook makes possible for a group of people who want to enjoy a more open and connected world. Millions of people keep in touch with friends through Facebook. They could write diaries, upload daily photos, and share links and videos, and join different groups.  

Within a group, users are able to start a conversation to discuss the issues. In addition, users could express opinions in the diaries and readers could comment on them just as the blog. With functions of uploading photos and videos as YouTube and Flickr, users are constantly interacting with User-Generated Content (UGC). To some extent, Facebook is bringing web 2.0 mainstream. It is educating mass to understand what web 2.0 technologies are.

The most typical latest example of the influence of Web 2.0 and DIY media is the victory of Barack Obama. The most famous one is Chris Hughes, who is one of the co-founders of Facebook.

Obama set up his personal brand through web 2.0 and DIY media, and spread it to the whole country, even the world. Obama is popular in the virtual community such as Facebook with more than 2 million friends. According to demographic segment, his team mainly targets people age from 18 to 25.  By comparison, the figure of McCain is only 560,000. Another statistics shows that on YouTube, videos related to Obama’s campaign have been viewed 92 million times, more than triple the times of McCain. Just in one week, Obama’s team uploaded 70 videos. A speech video about race made by Obama has been watched 5 million times since March. Democratic strategist Joe Trippi said, “ The networks would never give the president that much television time each week, but the press is still going to have to cover what he says on YouTube.”

781Another Web 2.0 communicate tool is Twitter. It is a service that allow people to post short updates (max 140 characters) about what they are doing. People could follow each other’s status.

Though it is really simple, journalists are thinking about how to use it in a professional way, as a tool to report the latest news to readers and ask for help from contacts and sources.

Twitter could be used for newsgathering. The more people you follow on, the more chances you may get the useful content.  Twitter was used in the Sichuan earthquake in China and the terrorist in Mumbai. The Labour Party and conservatives both have their own Twitter accounts.

In order to use Twitter better, users could use Twits Like Me to fine people who have similar interests. Tweetscan is for searching key words. Twitterlocal could help you to find twitter in your local area.

In addition, Twitter is a platform for news publishing, distribution and creation. Many newspapers have separate Twitter accounts for different sections, such as business, traffic and sports.

Here is A guide about how to use Twitter , and  a list of ten Twitter users that journalism student could follow.

10 things could do on Twitter

  1. What you are doing right now
  2. What you will be doing later
  3. A useful link you‘ve found
  4. Retweet something interesting someone else has tweeted
  5. Something you’ve done
  6. Something you’ve seen
  7. A message to someone else on Twitter
  8. A quote
  9. A question
  10. A call for assistance 

         (Written by Paul Bradshaw)

Last, here is a video project I made for multimedia journalism course about Facebook




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: