In my attempt to find current news on graffiti, I stumbled upon something even more worthy of mentioning. “The website Small World News is translating and transcribing phone messages from Egypt (among other places like Libya, Syria, Gaza, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, etc) into Twitter posts that can be read anywhere in the world.” The messages that are being translated come straight from the citizens of these countries and are translated by foreign citizens around the world in whatever language they are most comfortable translating in. This not only provides inside perspectives to reach a wider international audience, but shows how average citizens are helping to create and circulate news with guidance from small organizations and collaborative efforts as in the case with Small World News and Speak2Tweet.
Mentioned on the websites as citizen media, this movement of more intimate citizen involvement reminds me of the concept of public journalism discussed in a previous class I took. In Public Journalism the journalist and reader shed their constructed traditional roles to become more actively involved in how they create and consume news. If anybody is interested in translating, that person would only need to find the information to sign up. Something I find curious about this project is how they dealt with the 140 character limit that Twitter has for each post you make. In the instructions that are posted, they say the translators don’t have to worry about that issues and it will get taken care of on their side. If you look on the website, all posts are within the character range but are full of hash-tag words and links redirecting you, for example, to the Small World News website where the full article, video, or audio is presented. Almost similar to what we discussed in class about how graffiti is paid attention to as a means to find news in the area; these audio and video stories are being noticed and providing well needed context for journalists and citizens alike. Through the internet, this project allows for more well-rounded and effective freedom of press that news stations and journalist struggle with when presenting their news especially when they have to take in account those who will be viewing it and whether or not it will be censored in some way.
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