The emergence of mobile journalism through Twitter, YouTube and other digital channels is the future of new media. Pictures and videos from Iran, China and other countries with repressive regimes demonstrate the power of mobile devices in peoples’ hands.
Despite Iran, China and other oppressive regimes seeking to stop the flow of information, it continues to grow–not from the eyes and ears of “journalists,” but from people like you and me. The mobile Internet and social media are creating a new form of journalism.
Joe Wilcox, a blogger, wrote a powerful post called “Iran and the Internet Democracy.” Wilcox shows disturbing YouTube videos and pictures of angry Iranian protesters who oppose their government.
He also describes how corporate news organizations are losing media power to individuals, who snap pictures and record videos with mobile phones, write tweets and transmitted over the mobile Internet in real time. The reality of one person electronically communicating to the world resembles Edward R. Murrow’s “This is London” during World War II. We live in a new media world of mobile journalism.
It’s striking how quickly things change in our digital age. A year or so ago, Twitter was relatively unknown, FaceBook a novelty. YouTube provided some professional entertainment, video amateurs and the beginning of corporate advertising. but growing mobile journalism by individuals and established media is changing digital history.
Mobile Journalism Thrives
They’re now over one billion FaceBook members (60% outside the U.S.). Twitter is the place to go for information and events happening now. And YouTube competes with television news. Some would argue that the Web not only reduces government power, but democratizes the news. In an age of tweets, blog posts and reality video, who needs ABC when mobile journalism rules?
Obama’s moves toward “transparency” started before he took office. Exasperated by the recession, governments have found it difficult to shield the public from undesirable information. In a globally-connected age, the Washington press core finds it harder to filter government information. We now live in glass houses.
Young Mobile Journalists
Unlike slogans such as “power to the people,” loudly yelled by children of the 60’s, today’s younger, mobile phone-equipped youth are both the observers and the observed. Young, angry teens in Iran snap photos, make videos and micro-blog via text messages.
As Joe Wilcox said in his post:
“What happened on the streets of Tehran this week foreshadows dramatic changes, as citizens report the news in real time. The best reporting didn’t come from CNN. Flickr, Twitpic, Twitter and YouTube dominated. Using tweets with hashtags like #iranelection, mobile journalism’s photos and videos reached traditional journalists and people with mobile phones in real time. Young citizen journalists on the streets of Tehran report their stories through digital channels.