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Citizen Journalism – Harnessing The New Power of the People’s Media

The New Power of the People's Media

A central theme of this site is 'Digital Democracy', the ongoing digitization of all aspects of our democracies as it is also happening elsewhere in business and society.

Typically this topic focuses on the mechanics of the process, notably online digital voting, however the real transformation has been occurring in the steps leading up to that action. Ie. social media has entirely changed the campaigning part of politics, far more radically and quickly than it has the technical systems.

In an era of 'fake news' this is now the battleground for the scale and nature of influence that can win or lose major votes, as supporter camps share copious volumes of information and disinformation via networks like Facebook and Twitter.

And it's not just supporters sharing disinformation, indeed the mainstream media acts in collusion with the political hierarchy to continually promote their own agenda, and social media an ideal way to distribute nuggets of ideas in iconic form, ideal for social sharing.

For example this type of spin was tweeted by the Scottish Office, who many will mistakenly consider to be entirely integrous, but who actually won't hesitate to publish disinformation to sow seeds of doubt.

Citizen Journalism - Give Wings to the Truth

Our counter to this is 'Citizen Journalism', simply meaning any individual publishing news articles, a feature we'll enable via this site where any members are welcome to post articles, the more the merrier both in terms of the number of authors and also the volume of articles they post.

An inspiring exemplar of the effect in action is the popular Wings Over Scotland blog, most notably defined in this article which reports on their recent crowdfunding success to sustain the site, where he also shares the traffic stats for the site, stats that are really quite mind blowing, given they describe how the site ranks fourth in between the Telegraph and the Independent for traffic, beating out many other national newspapers.

These are competitive media titles owned by large corporations and wealthy individuals, employing staff of thousands to produce hundreds of news stories every day and with advertising budgets to promote these newspapers, versus one guy who lives in Bath, a single citizen who does all his own research and writing, and survives from crowdfunding support from other citizens.

Outside of the Scottish Referendum topic that alone is a massive, hugely impressive feat of journalism business, and within that context is a powderkeg of opportunity that can be tapped further.

As the founding team of ScotVote.info are technologists not journalists, our primary goal is not to try and directly author a similar standard of content, but rather build a web platform that enables the next 1,000 budding authors who can. There are likely many who possess a similar writing skill but not the web site design and hosting skills, to achieve a similar site like Wings, and so we will happily help with that part, providing web site tools and sites as required.

It's also an action that leverages our core strategic principle, the realization that our small size is our strength not our weakness. As Alex Salmond describes it is the smaller countries that are more effective at resisting the commodization of society that large corporations try to encourage, succeeding at building societies that better reflect humane welfare systems, healthy work practices and so on.

In the media war against the rich it is again our size, an ability to move fast and organize more effectively, that can be applied to online content production and the massive impact it can have upon voter sentiments.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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