For the past 12 or so weeks I have been researching the media issue that is the Occupy Wall Street movement. This was a movement that was organised online due to how easy it is to distribute and obtain information because of the evolution of digital technology. This movement was also powered by the use of citizen journalism as well as the growth and transformation of the public sphere.
Through research into my media issue I have learnt that citizen journalism is something that has played a massive part in regards to my issue. Without citizen journalism The Occupy Wall Street movement would have turned out completely different and the 99% campaign would have been completely nonexistent.
One important aspect of the Occupy Wall Street movement was the fact that everyone was getting heard, it was no longer big corporations or classic public media platforms, such as newspapers, the ‘little people’, or 99%, were now getting everyone’s attention and making themselves heard. While TV stations and news papers could be influenced by large corporations citizen journalism couldn’t be affected at all by these corporations, they had a voice of their own. This way people of the world were able to get the story straight from the horse’s mouth, rather than hearing it from a journalist who had nothing to do with the situation, this meant that everyone was able to tell their own story and people everywhere could hear it.
Citizen journalism is also the reason for the We Are the 99% campaign as it was created by a citizen journalist. I have learnt through my research and lecture’s that without this type of journalism things like this campaign would never be able to exist and it’s just such a wonderful thing to know that we’re all able to have a say, and like what is shown through this movement and campaign, be able to make a difference to society.
This citizen journalism then lead to the media reporting on this information presented by the citizen journalists. For example, there were many videos being uploaded onto the internet of police brutality towards protesters of Occupy Wall Street and many other Occupy movements all over the world, these videos and stories were then picked up by traditional media sources, meaning that these stories were seen by an even bigger audience.
Digital technology is also something that has made this movement possible. Without the evolution and convergence of technology it would have been impossible for something of this magnitude to occur. The way Occupy Wall Street happened was via social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter, making it possible to connect and share with thousands of people in seconds. Through this evolution of technology everyone is now able to have a voice and the entire world has the potential to hear it.
Again, because of this easy availability of this information, because of this evolution of technology, the traditional media platforms were able to pick up on the story and run their own account of this information for their audiences, allowing for a greater distribution of information.
This evolution in digital technology had created a completely new public sphere, the internet. This is tied into everything I have previously said as this public sphere is now a place for citizen journalism and this network of people is what lead to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Without this evolutionary public sphere the movement wouldn’t have been able to function, this is what made the movement so significant, as everyone was able to communicate with each other.
Overall, the change in the way media has reported on issues has changed dramatically over the past couple of decades due to the growth and change in technology. Now not everything is reported by your traditional media platforms, now everyone can share their stories and opinions with millions of people all over the world. It was this change that allowed for people to group together and be heard by all those who would never listen; it was these developments that are now leading to positive change within society.