Providing the marginalized with citizen journalism training can result in personal empowerement, write Ann Luce, Daniel Jackson, and Einar Thorsen, all of Bournemouth University. The authors arranged training courses for disabled and homeless people, and interviewed them over their experiences.
A variety of reasons complicated the training. Notably, the trainees often had low self-esteem and sometimes feared reprisals for speaking out. Some trainees also had physical limitations that, for example, made handling a camera difficult for them.
The training did have a positive impact on the trainees’ outlook, the authors noted. The extent of the effects were, however, different for the disabled and for the homeless. The former were members of an active organisation and were connected to a community, while the latter group was more atomised.
After training, the disabled cohort went on to produce citizen journalism and speak up on issues close to them, while the homeless shied away from practicing their newfound skills. Supportive communities are crucial for citizen journalism, the authors concluded. Whether or not the training served to empower the homeless or disabled as a group, beyond the participants, remained unclear.
The article “Citizen journalism at the margins” was published by the journal Journalism Practice. It is available online here as open access.
Picture: Untitled by dschap, licence CC0 1.0.
Edited 15.11.2016: The article was made available as open access during October 2016.