Group analysis blog-evaluation
Through watching our case study and producing our own video, a few observations have been made. The most prominent is that citizen journalism (in the context of video media), is contingent with variables that cannot be controlled. Effective content relies on adequate positioning, lighting and timing. It’s often a matter of luck and opportunism. In regards to the United Airlines video, it was fortunate (or perhaps misfortune) that the passengers were able to capture the scene.
Our understanding is that the following factors had to occur for the footage to be shot; Firstly, the passengers had to recognise that a predicament was unfolding, and that it was worth capturing it on film. This process had to occur before the gentleman was pulled from his chair in order to record the full scene. The passengers also needed to be in a good position, where they could capture the whole scene, without obstruction (this might have meant they were sitting on the aisle or opposite the gentleman.) They also had to have easily access to a camera, which was made possible by the number of passengers with smart phones in their pockets. A last factor is the ability to upload the footage; this required access to wifi and YouTube. It requires all these factors to fall in line to produce an effective piece of citizen journalism.
If you then look at the footage we collected, you see we did not have the perfect line up of factors. Our recognition of an issue was delayed, consequently we arrived at the incident after the main action had concluded. We were also not able to reach an advantageous place to capture impactful footage. We were on the peripheral of the incident.
The cost of being on the outer edges of the incident meant the footage had little to no context. Viewing the video without any explanation, means it pointless. It just looks like a regular shopping centre unless the closed doors and bodyguards are pointed out, as well as some insight into why they are there. Context is easily lost with citizen journalism.
Raw footage of immediate video upload can provide a potentially biased snapshot of an issue, as it can fail to acknowledge the wider picture. For example, in the United Airlines video, we would argue it is biased in favour of the gentleman being injured. A less bias piece of content may provide a broader scope, with acknowledgements of what is happening outside of that 30 seconds of footage. For example, perhaps the passenger has been aggressive in the moments preceding the video.