Citizen journalism is not a thing. In the same way that citizen astronauts are not a thing.
Journalism is a skill. One I spent years studying and even longer working on. Here are five things you can do instead of stomping off and throwing an anonymous online tantrum.
Instead of being an arm-chair activist and signing silly petitions, here are ideas for what you can actually do:
1. Write a strongly worded letter to the person in question/Forum pages/relevant ministry/relevant company. State the facts of what happened including dates and times, why it upset you and what you would like done. Include your contact details. Sometimes just writing this and sending it off will make you feel better. Get some tips from here.
3. Call an actual journalist through news hotlines and be their source. If they don’t call you back – it is NOT newsworthy. LET GO AND MOVE ON.
4. Start a blog and whinge and whineto your heart’s content like every other netizen. Send a link it to your friends and family. Ask them to share it. If it goes viral it is newsworthy. If not LET GO AND MOVE ON.
5. Try introspection. Take a breath. Practise some yoga. Ask yourself: Whatever you got your knickers in a knot about – is it just your hurt pride reacting? Are is there genuine injustice that should be righted? Be honest. Get real. And if you must must voice this use the Four Gates of Truth before posting: i) Is it true? ii) Is it necessary to say? iii) Is it the right time to say it? iv) Can it be said in a kind way? If the answer to all of these questions is yes, go ahead. If the answer to any one of these questions is no – hold back, regroup, take another breath. Then (you guessed it) LET GO AND MOVE ON.
Go for it – do something instead of keying your name into an online form and claimed to have fought for humanity.
Sabina Fernandez is a Singaporean editor and yoga teacher. She has crafted content for Audi, Singtel, Conde Nast Traveller and Time Out and her most popular online article received 12,000+ views in two days.
Most recently she was an editor at Her World, Singapore's largest women's magazine. When not writing, she teaches regular outdoor yoga classes in the botanic gardens and by the beach.
For info about her writing visit www.sabinafernandez.branded.me or go to www.sabinafernandez.com for more about her yoga classes.