Citizen Journalism and its Democratic Potencial -Brazilian case studies: Viva Favela and dios Online

Raquel Gomes de Oliveira

Abstract


This paper aims to reflect on citizen journalism and its democratic potential through an exploration of Brazilian case studies. What is the importance of users participation in online news media? In the case of citizen journalism, does a larger number of ordinary civic voices effect a difference in the quality of a societys democracy? Here, it is pertinent to consider the efforts that have provided the means of communication to this plurality of voices as they have enabled the social inclusion of citizens by training them in the use of new information and communication technologies. This work presents two experiences of citizen journalism that exist specifically in Brazil and concern communities considered excluded from the political system. The first, Viva Favela, is an online community representing low-income communities. The second, dios Online, is a virtual indigenous community. Through the exploration, observation, and description of these two cases, the paper analyzes the experience of participatory journalism. To do this, we must understand that localized experiences of citizen journalism could have significant implications for the use of new technologies and for the challenges of democracy more generally.

Keywords


citizen journalism; participation; democracy

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