The Rise of the Citizen Journalist [UPDATED]

[UPDATE] Whoopsie – this is a guest post!!!!!!! ? Forgot to label it as such. ?- Pete the post putter upper


OK, I admit, I am starting to get a little too focused on this election campaign.

But you have to admit, as elections go, this one is an absolute cracker. With small margin parties trying to outdo one another in attracting the so called disaffected and allegedly disenfranchised, the claims have become more and more outlandish as those who languish below the magic 5% threshold try to chisel a fraction more off the major parties, or try to cannibalise each other?s votes. One major party in free fall, another trying to make sure they stay above the 50% mark.

Add to the mix the outside forces currently resident in Coatesville, tenuous alliances, huge ego?s stirring the pot, a book only slightly less factual than the last Harry Potter novel, and a terribly compliant and clearly biased media, and you have the makings of quite a stoush! However the casualties of this particular fight may include people who did not envisage themselves as possible collateral damage.

The reputation of many people in the main stream media has taken a hit. Inaccuracies in reporting have been swiftly identified, deliberate errors and obfuscations have been highlighted, and in some cases have even led to never before experienced corrections and edits in online articles in some of our mainstream news sites. Where once what was printed in the media could stand unchanged, and inaccuracies could only be challenged in court, that is no longer the case, and that is thanks to the Internet, and to the blogger. ?

Where inaccuracies are now promulgated through a compliant media, we have the freedom of the internet to research and rebut. Obvious inaccuracies and outright lies can be challenged with facts, and counter claims. However, in the not too distant past, that could only be attempted as a single voice, poorly researched, and often alone.

Then came Cam Slater, and Whaleoil.

Suddenly many of us who saw the same issues, the same lies, the same borderline slander, we suddenly found a community, we found kindred spirits, and we found our collective voice. We shared stories, supported each other, carved ourselves an outlet. And we shared our stories, and our views, and we were no longer alone. Now if only we could find a way to share what we had found, and to be heard. We needed a herald, we needed someone to point at us and say ?Look at these people, they have a voice, listen!?

Had we but known, in delicious irony, that our herald, our clarion call, was to be in the form of Nicky Hager.

They say all publicity is good publicity, and how right they were.

Now the contributors at Whaleoil have a profile, a prominence. We have influence. And thanks to a dedicated group of Mods who maintain our standards, it continues to grow as an organisation. In sharing our voices, and our information, we are now more than mere bloggers.

We share tips, we look out for information, we see, we write, we share, and we are no longer the bloggers of old.

We are now true Citizen Journalists, with a quality product, and possibly the last free press in this country.