Citizen journalism is by no means real journalism. It is often times filled with opinions, lacking secondary sources, and written (or if it’s a video) edited sloppily. But when it comes to exposing a violation or several violations of human rights, citizen journalism can sometimes be exactly what the world needs to see in order for people to wake up and do something.
An article written in the Tampa Tribune about human trafficking in Florida covers all the bases of what is considered by journalistic standards to be a “good story.” And it is. The author, Mitchell, includes interviews with a recently released trafficking victim, head of the police force in that county, as well as the head of a nonprofit in the area dedicated to stop human trafficking. Mitchell’s interviews give insight to the good things that are already being done to make progress to stop trafficking, however, her piece isn’t exactly a call-to-action.
A blog post written by the NGO, The Human Trafficking Project, exposes human trafficking occurring in our own state of Texas. Human trafficking can be a difficult thing for a citizen journalist to expose or even recognize because it by nature is such a shadowy industry. As a result, often times NGO’s trying to end human trafficking wind up becoming citizen journalists, which benefits all parties. Their organization gets more credibility and exposure once they have hard evidence and it also creates a bigger impact in getting people involved for their mission.
An article written in The Courier is another example of how citizen journalism exposing human trafficking, especially in an area close to home can get coverage from larger media outlets and create waves for change.