The value of online citizen journalism in political risk analysis: A case study of police brutality in Brazil’s favelas

Frantz, Micheline (2016-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The virtual sphere is quickly becoming one of the most resourceful platforms for obtaining information. This is due to information taking on a more dynamic role, in which it is more freely dispersed, debated and deconstructed by those engaging with it; whether as the audience or journalist. This has paved the way for citizens to distribute information as citizen journalists. It is within this context that this study aims to research the value of online citizen journalists in political risk analysis, by specifically researching the value it holds as a source of information in the compilation of political risk reports. This is the first study, as far as the researcher is aware, that attempts to research the potential value of online citizen journalism as a source of information for political risk reports compiled by political risk analysts. The rationale for this study is based on the understanding that the advancement of technology has greatly evolved the manner in which the world is understood in terms of communication and media. Furthermore, this study emphasises that the adoption of new media technologies during risk management and crisis management can increase problem-solving capabilities and facilitate rational decision making. Political risk analysis presents the opportunity to mitigate the risks associated with the political sphere. By exploring and understanding new avenues of obtaining information in relation to technological changes in news reporting, the study of political risk analysis can advance to the degree that data can be more readily accessed from a perspective of active and engaged citizens who are familiar with the scope of the country’s political, economic and socio-economic climate. This introductory study concludes that the value of online citizen journalism is feasible; however, this is only to a certain extent, as it is not as advanced as mainstream media. In order to express the extent to which online citizen journalism is feasible, this study used the case study of police brutality in Brazil’s favelas in 2014. This was demonstrated by a single qualitative case study observing the value of news reports by online citizen journalists, according to the three criteria of timeliness, accuracy and relevancy. This study found that there is value in online citizen journalism, although it would be better utilised alongside mainstream media in the form of a media partnership. This study includes an advisory section, presenting the potential for future studies to improve the value of online citizen journalism in the field of political risk analysis.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Die virtuele sfeer is vinnig besig om een van die rykste bronne vir die opsporing van inligting te word. Dít is omdat inligting meer dinamies is en meer vryelik versprei, bespreek en gedekonstrueer word deur diegene wat daarmee omgaan – hetsy die gewone leser of die joernalis. Dit het onder meer die weg gebaan vir burgers om inligting as burgerlike joernaliste te versprei. Teen hierdie agtergrond ondersoek hierdie studie die waarde van aanlyn burgerlike joernalistiek vir politieke risiko-ontleding deur bepaald te konsentreer op die waarde wat dit as ’n inligtingsbron vir die opstel van politieke risikoverslae inhou. So ver die navorser weet, is dít die eerste studie oor die moontlike waarde van aanlyn burgerlike joernalistiek as ’n bron van inligting vir politieke risiko-ontleders se risikoverslae. Die beweegrede vir hierdie studie is eerstens dat tegnologiese vooruitgang ’n omwenteling teweeggebring het in hoe die wêreld verstaan word wat kommunikasie en media betref. Voorts beklemtoon die studie dat die ingebruikneming van nuwe mediategnologieë gedurende krisisbestuur probleemoplossingsvermoëns kan verbeter en tot rasionele besluitneming kan lei. Politieke risiko-ontleding bied die geleentheid om die risiko’s in die politieke sfeer te temper. Deur nuwe maniere van inligtingsopsporing aan die hand van tegnologiese veranderinge in nuusverslaggewing te verken en te verstaan, kan die vakgebied van politieke risiko-ontleding baat vind by meer geredelik toeganklike data uit die oogpunt van aktiewe en betrokke burgers wat vertroud is met die land se politieke, ekonomiese en sosio-ekonomiese klimaat. Hierdie inleidende studie kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat aanlyn burgerlike joernalistiek waardevol kan wees, dog slegs in ’n sekere mate aangesien dit nie so gevorderd soos hoofstroommedia is nie. Om te bepaal hoeveel waarde aanlyn burgerlike joernalistiek inhou, maak hierdie navorsing gebruik van ’n gevallestudie van polisiewreedheid in die krotbuurte van Brasilië in 2014. ’n Enkele kwalitatiewe gevallestudie ondersoek die waarde van aanlyn burgerlike joernaliste se nuusberigte aan die hand van die drie maatstawwe van aktualiteit, akkuraatheid en relevansie. Die studie bevind dat aanlyn burgerlike joernalistiek wél nut het, hoewel dit beter sou wees om dit in samehang met hoofstroommedia in die vorm van ’n mediavennootskap in te span. Die studie sluit ook ’n raadgewende afdeling in wat die moontlikhede uiteensit vir toekomstige studies om die waarde van aanlyn burgerlike joernalistiek op die gebied van politieke risiko-ontleding te verbeter.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98596
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