Story Pt. 1
Citizen Journalism circulates around overcoming adversity.
I have chosen the method of researching case studies in my topic. They capture the reality of citizen journalism’s impact on media reliability, as they are stories of real people and go further than a figure or a statistic. More importantly, they highlight the need for change. When traditional journalism goes quiet, citizen journalism gets louder – my chosen case studies are prime instances of this.
Q: How does citizen journalism highlight breaches of human rights?
Emma Murphy Fights Back
In 2015, Emma Murphy (26) from Santry, Dublin sat down at the bottom of her stairs with a fresh black eye from her partner.
Her two young children could be seen playing in the background. After much deliberation, she began to record herself speaking on her situation of domestic violence.
She described her partner’s infiedlity, her confrontation and his violent response. “He hit me…” She tells the camera, wiping her tears, “It wasn’t the first time.” In the video she tells how the man she was in a relationship with punched her and “split her head open” in previous episodes of violence. – All of this can be seen in the primary source of Emma Murphy speaking. Article also written by Conor Feehan, The Independent
Q: With such a powerful message, how did this effect the life’s of other survivors of domestic abuse?
When Ms Murphy uploaded the video to her Facebook account, her intention was to share her story with “a few close friends and family”. She had no idea that sharing this piece of citizen journalism would change her life and hundreds of other’s forever. She spoke in a TedTalk about her experience, where she said “Without (Facebook) to voice my story, I would still be in that very unhapy place where I wished I was dead.”
The video has been viewed over 10 million times, encouraging countless other domestic abuse survivors to come forward with their story. – Be specific with numbers; where has video been viewed?
Since uploading the video, Ms Murphy has participated in further work in order to help other people in similar situations.
She spoke in a TedExTalk about her experience, where she said “Without (Facebook) to voice my story, I would still be in that very unhappy place where I wished I was dead.” – Repeat of verification; link to above. Find further quotes from video to add to piece.
She also made a documentary “Emma Murphy Fights Back” to speak to other suriviors, and continues to use her platform to raise awareness of Domestic Abuse. – Further detail into documentary content, and add ways in which she uses her platform to raise awareness.
Q: Can you clearly outline what has changed, such as laws etc?
On 2nd September 2020, a video began to circulate of a 9 year old girl from Texas named Sophie refusing to go home with her mother and stepfather.
Screaming in tears, Sophie accuses her stepfather and his friends of sexual assault.
What were some direct quotes of Sophie? (Less gruesome.)
Sharing the video led to a GoFundMe page being set up for Sophie, raising $210,622 out of a $25,000 target. As well as this, full custody has been awarded of Sophie and her two brothers to her biological father. – I will explore deeper into the impacts of this case, such as what happened to her mother and step-father, what the reach of the video was like and who else came forward.
The Murder of George Floyd – Enough is Enough
George Floyd was a 46 year old father of five. He lived in Minneaplois, Minnesota and was a proud African-American. – Verify how I know he was “proud” – On May 25th, officers responded to a report of a “forgery in progress”, after Floyd bought a packet of cigarettes. It was believed he used a fake $20 bill.
While arresting him, officers pulled Floyd from his car, causing him to fall to the ground. He was handcuffed. Video evidence taken by a bystander shows Floyd losing consciousness as an officer knelt on his neck, and he was pronounced dead an hour later.
Police brutality against people of colour is nothing society has not seen before, but it was this video surfacing online that sparked a civil rights movement globally. The gruesomeness and obvious hatred shown within the video was something that people could no longer turn a blind eye to – it was time for change.
Floyd’s death led to protests with one message in common – Black Lives Matter. Cities in 50 countires held demonstrations. In the UK and US, video footage has surfaced of historical monuments with links to slavery being vandalised has surfaced. The statue of Edward Colston, who was involved in the Atlantic slave trade, was thrown into the harbour in protest of white privilege. In US, statues of Christopher Columbus have been defaced or taken down. Society has become more attentive to racially insensitive people and shows. Public figures such as Keith Lemon have apologized for their use of “black face”, explaining how their intention of doing so was for comedic purposes and not to insult or offend anyone. Little Britain and Come Fly with Me, shows from eras of different humor, have been removed off Netflix.
How did this combat mainstresam traditional news of Covid? Particularly relating to protests, lack of social distancing, cases afterwards etc
How it all comes together
An observation I made was how emotionally impacted people are by citizen journalism as opposed to traditional journalism. This can be seen in my case studies I have chosen to explore – a global outcry occurred for all three situations of three individual people. From sums of money being donated, to protests happening all around the world, to people having the courage to change their own lifes forever, citizen journalism hits a nerve that traditional journalism fails to. Regarding media reliability, the more that these cases blow up, the more evidence appears of injustice occuring.