[All links lead to Spanish-language sites.]
“Reporte Ya” (“Report Now”) is the name of one of Venezuela's most popular citizen journalism networks. With almost 65,000 followers on Twitter, @ReporteYa is closely linked to a traditional newspaper like El Nacional, giving us an example of a collaboration between professional and citizen journalism, which once again highlights the need for a cooperation of this informative phenomenon.
This week they speak to us about how the growing use of mobile technology has permitted the expansion of this phenomenon known as “Citizen Journalism”:
El fácil acceso a las redes a través de los teléfonos inteligentes ha permitido que todos podamos ser portadores de noticias, sin la necesidad de ser licenciados en comunicación.
Easy access to networks through smartphones has allowed all of us to be carriers of news without the need to have gone to University to study Communications.
Last year they showed us how this network of reporters can be of great use during specific events such as elections. To offer informative coverage alternative to the traditional, they launched a collection of practical tips on Twitter on how to use Twitter to provide election information.
Besides collaborating to cover major scheduled events like elections, citizen collaboration is fundamental to having these correspondents report on what is happening on the streets in real time.
Muchas organizaciones aliadas nos envían informaciones de interés general pero son los ciudadanos comunes los que se convierten en reporteros estrellas al enviarnos la información al momento de producirse.
Many partner organizations send us information of general interest, but it is the ordinary citizens who become star reporters when sending us the information at the moment it occurs.
This project started in October 2010 in collaboration with the Miguel Otero Silva Cultural Foundation, as highlighted in Reportero24, “to include communities in the process of searching for and spreading information.”
In 2011, Patricia Rodríguez, coordinator for the foundation and @ReporteYa, pointed out citizen education as an objective of her start up:
“Parte de nuestra mirada estratégica incluye capacitar a todas las personas en el uso de las redes sociales, sin importar su edad, posición política o profesión. En muchos casos eso incluye acercarlos a un mundo muy técnico o lejano, pero que indiscutiblemente esta hecho para nosotros”.
“Part of our strategic outlook includes enabling all people in the use of social networks, regardless of age, political position, or profession. In many cases this includes bringing them closer to a very technical or far-off world, but one that is unquestionably made for us”.
In May 2011, they started this platform's blog through a project entitled “Social Networks Online”, with the goal of using Twitter as an exceptional communication channel because of its immediacy in providing a wider audience with messages from civil associations, non-governmental organizations, neighborhood leaders, and communities in general:
Nos hemos trazado la misión de formar a los nuevos Periodistas Ciudadanos a través de talleres de capacitación en los que explicamos los distintos elementos para el manejo del twitter, y presentamos cómo las noticias que se producen viajan a una velocidad indescriptible, dando origen una nueva narrativa comunicacional construida sobre los cimientos de sus tweets, mensajes directos, fotos y videos que se alzan en la red y que se multiplican y persisten gracias a nuestra plataforma @REPORTEYA y nuestro aliado El Nacional Web.
We have set the task of training new Citizen Journalists through training workshops in which we explain the different elements of managing Twitter, and we present how news that is produced travels at an indescribably speed, giving rise to a new communication narrative built on the foundation of their tweets, direct messages, photos, and videos that pop up online and multiply and persist thanks to our platform @REPORTEYA and our partner El Nacional Web.
According to data collected from Twtrland, a free tool that allows people to analyze Twitter user profiles, extracting statistical data, 65% of the first users of this citizen journalism network are women. 83% of users come from Venezuela since, basically, they report on local and hyperlocal news tweeting an average of 13 times a day. Although in reality its blog has not been updated since August, its Twitter followers do not cease to increase.