Amateur · Commentary · Opinion · Uncategorized

Post 5: The Role of the Amateur/Individual – New Challenges in Screen Media

It is very clear that in the last few years the lines between the amateur and professional have become blurred. Media is more accessible and amateurs have the tools to expand their horizons into professional territory. Amateur screen media cannot be dismissed as it raises awareness about topics that are often over looked. Amateurs are now highly skilled and have the almost the same level of knowledge as that of the professional. Amateur and individual projects allow freedom to the creators and give them a space to share their full opinion.

Nowadays there are lots of ways people can develop their digital skills. ‘How to’ videos swarm YouTube giving amateurs the resources they need to enhance knowledge on all things media. These videos are easily accessible and allow individuals to learn without going to college or doing a course in digital media. One example of these videos is teaching amateur filmmakers and photographers how to make their work look professional.


Without receiving any formal training, these amateurs are able to compete on a global level with the professionals. These days anyone can google a video and create an app. It does not take extensive knowledge anymore. But this creates new challenges for screen media as one questions where the divide between professional and amateur begins.

With these new tools at our finger tips, ordinary people and young people are given new opportunities for activism. Young people have become so engrossed in social media that they can use the platform for youth activism and reach a huge audience. An example of an individual using digital media to spread is Malala Yousafzai . She is not a professional but understands the power of social media and the digital age thus using it to spread her message to the world showcasing how media can be used to promote youth activism.

Image result for malala yousafzai social media

In conclusion, as I have said earlier the lines between the professional and the amateur have become increasingly blurred in this digital age. Youth activism has increased due to the simplicity of spreading a message on social media. Without any proper training the individual can use media to their advantage. They can teach themselves the correct techniques thus giving them credibility in the global online world.


Commentary · Opinion · social media

Post 4: The Role of the Professional – Engaging the Public through Popular Screen Media

The role of the professional in screen media has become varied throughout the years. With more access to social media it has become easy to use it for their own gain.

The line between amateur and professional has become blurred as the average person has increased access to social networking sites allowing them to engage with screen media.  Professional figures e.g politicians and new reporters engage with the public through social media. These sites such a Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are useful to the professional to converse with their target audience in order to convey a wider message.

We see how politicians use social media for their own gain regularly but it was especially present in the 2016 American elections. A video of Hilary Clinton went viral after she used a certain dance move on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show. This certain event was highlighted as young people felt it was an attempt to relate to young voters thus allowing her to gain more votes. Hilary used this language of popular culture to her advantage.

The video I have included talks about how Trump and Clinton would use social media to get information out and how Trump in particular would compare his success to how many twitter followers he had.


Through studying Henry Jenkin’s “participatory culture”, professionals can make themselves aware of the correct ways to engage the public through popular social media. Trump and Clinton really utilized social media in their campaigns. Professionals know how to manipulate social media for their own gain and a lot of the time the ordinary users of these websites would be blissfully unaware.

In conclusion, professionals engage extremely well with the public through their use of screen media. The presidential campaign was always going to be a huge event on social media but nobody could predict just how much it would be used to sway the vote towards Trump and away from Clinton.



Works cited

  • Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture. 1st ed. New York: New York University Press, 2006. Print.
Citizen Journalism · Commentary · social media

Post 2: Mother Nature vs Citizen Journalism: would you put your life at risk?

What happens when ordinary people get caught in the wrath of mother nature? For many their first instinct is to run but there will always be a number of thrill seekers who attempt to film events and get as close as possible to the scenes unfolding in front of their very eyes. Danger suddenly does not seem as worrying when a camera is being used.

They’ll risk their lives in order to get footage of large scale natural disasters. If they succeed and manage to survive this footage can become worth a lot of money. In some respects it can be considered a sport and the bravest citizen journalist will win big if they live through the disaster.

Luke Goode describes citizen journalism as  ‘a range of web-based practices whereby ‘ordinary’ users engage in journalistic practices. Citizen journalism includes practices such as current affairs-based blogging, photo and video sharing, and posting eyewitness commentary on current events’.

Boxing day 2004, an earth shattering tsunami occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on island of Thailand.  The undersea megathrust earthquake was caused when the Indian Plate was subducted by the Burma Plate and triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000–280,000 people in 14 countries. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history.


As with all natural disasters, masses of people attempted to flee from the enormous wave but a handful decided to capture video of this reckless force so the western world could also experience the enormity of what was happening in Thailand. Since the disaster, there are many pictures and videos on the web and without citizen journalism the event would not be documented as well as it is. Foreign news reporters would not have been able to video live footage and it would have taken days to report the true extent of the tsunami as conditions would have been too dangerous for travel.

One video in particular (with the largely unneeded added effect of dramatic music) is a vital piece of citizen journalism from the day the tsunami struck.It shows various scenes of destruction and the disturbing image of a man on the beach being swallowed by the massive wave.  It gives us the chance view the immediate impact of the tsunami and  witness the true power of nature.

This piece of citizen journalism is key in helping us to remember the events that took place on boxing day, it highlights the mass destruction and loss experienced by the people of Thailand. Citizen journalist are essential when something unplanned like the tsunami happens as they capture the true, unedited events that take place when mother nature strikes.



Work’s cited

  • Goode, Luke. “Social News, Citizen Journalism and Democracy.” New Media & Society 11.8 (2009): 1287-1305.
Commentary · Opinion

Post 1: Social media 2017: progressive or dangerous?

Since the death of Vine™, social media has adapted greatly. As one app gets forgotten into the endless spiral of YouTube vine compilations,  many more rise as we see Facebook and Instagram developing the ever so famous ‘stories feature’ that we have all come to love via ‘Snapchat Stories.’ Media is constantly changing and growing with each generation and with growth comes new ways for people to connect which, more often than not are positive. However, dangers still lurk in the shadowy parts of the web and target the vulnerable in society such a young teenagers and elderly internet users.

Social media can be described as progressive and it’s what the world runs on in 2017. People earn a living through social media be it: promoting other products or their own business, it has become a way of life. Almost all of the 2016 American presidential campaign was documented on social media and some of the candidates used social media as a way to connect with young voters. It also allows individuals to have a job that not only earns money but allows creativity and helps them achieve personal goals. Different social media platforms are continually arriving in the app store and progression is inevitable.

Social media can be a destructive force used by people that can cause pain and suffering. We’ve all seen the bad side of the web through stories of suicide due to public embarrassment but as shocking as these are social media is an influencer and is too much of a mass to bring down. It will be around for years to come and does spread news like no other. We see fake news stories mixed with the real, videos of people falling over, Hillary Clinton dabbing (which was painful to watch) and animals doing funny things, which we would not get to experience without social media and sharing websites.

The dangers surrounding social media are not new and will always be there. As long as people continue to share their daily life with the world danger and lack of privacy will be a factor they must take into account. An example of this would be when Kim Kardashian a woman who shares almost every detail of her life with the public, was targeted and robbed in Paris. The criminals were able to track Kim’s whereabouts using social media and they knew when she’d be alone. This is an extreme example but it just goes to show how easy it is to use social media in order to commit a crime.

I believe that it is a personal choice whether or not social media will effect you. If sharing daily life is your cup of tea then so be it but share with caution and understand the uncertainty of social media. We must remember to stay safe on the web and use social media with caution.