Citizen journalists should learn code of ethics in journalism

  • Tommy Pauk

Nowadays, the global people attain the tremendous benefits from the ICT. Every day events or occurrences around the world can be seen or read on the screens of T.V, smart phones and i-phones vividly. Even then, all the live TV broadcasts of some events or occasions or celebrations can be viewed by the global viewers. Due to advance technology and the noble contribution of the ordinary people, we can learn both foreign and local news on the internet and social media websites timely and freely. Actually, there are no specific codes of ethics for the citizen journalists and they are not paid to contribute to the all forms of media, showing sincere goodwill to the public who wish to learn good news or bad news both locally and internationally. In fact, they contribute voluntary service in citizen journalism. Due to the development of ICT, mass communications are much easier than before and the information can be accessed to the desired destination in the world. The citizen journalists need to win the public trust and should abide by the code of ethics in journalism indeed. There are not only news but also bank of knowledge is available on the internet. The global people heartily welcome the citizen journalists who normally reveal the true and unbiased news and information to the general public. The citizen journalists usually collect true news, valuable news items and knowledgeable information in good faith of the general public.
As for the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, media freedom has been granted in the country by abolishing press censorship, permitting the publication of private daily newspapers and enacting new media law in line with international norms and practices. This reform is highly appreciated by the general public. Due to affordable prices of hand phones and sim-cards (Subscriber Identification Module), the citizens of Myanmar can share or spread information or news or messages to the fellow citizens or press or media groups. Myanmar citizens can have chances to participate in citizen journalism for the interest of the general public. They are proud to be citizen journalists or voluntary correspondents. They have goodwill intention to contribute to all sorts of media or to assist the ordinary journalists in collecting confirmed and reliable news precisely. The social media network is a huge source of collecting latest news with the related photos. The citizen journalists ought not to spread any false news or fabricated news or rumors. This can be regarded as an ethical conduct. No matter they do not know the journalism ethics precisely, they must behave nicely to the public by conveying information or updated or latest news. If they are behaving correctly and sincerely, they can be recognized as good citizen journalists. They need to contribute with the reliable news to the ordinary journalists, aiming to convey the true news to the general public timely. ICT has been introduced in Myanmar recently, but Myanmar citizen journalists are smart enough to use electronic telecommunication devices. Therefore both urban and rural people can find or see the news brought to them by citizen journalists. In fact, the social media net work has to rely on the efforts of the citizen journalists as well. Media is regarded as the fourth pillar in establishing a genuine democratic state. Myanmar citizens are already given rights to enjoy media freedom and can participate in Citizen Journalism independently. However, the way the citizen journalists write and comment on the news must be decent. They should avoid using harsh language in their writing or criticism on certain topics. Those who involved in citizen journalism must be very helpful for social media and even for the law enforcement. Recently, in Myanmar, the citizen journalists have cooperated with police forces in investigating or inquiring criminals at large. The police force requested the citizens to spot the whereabouts of criminals on face book, a social media net work. Then, the citizen journalists could have given the correct and precise information about the whereabouts of culprits. Thus, the criminals had been brought down to justice with the cooperation of citizen journalists. There was a record that the police could have arrested the culprits with the help of citizen journalists. Such praiseworthy and dutiful citizens should be honored and recognized officially. Myanmar Police force has honored and commended the citizen journalists. Nobody can ignore the work of citizen journalism as their work is beneficial to the society and community. In addition, Myanmar people are very fond of giving information and directing the way to those who are in need of such things. For example; When the strangers or foreign tourists looking for the directions to get to their desired destination, the local Myanmar people direct or show the right way to reach the right destination. This is Myanmar innate character which is always willing to help the travelers or globetrotters.
All Myanmar citizen journalists are needed to abide by the ethics of media. Normally, shoddy journalism or substandard journalism undermines the public trust. Nevertheless, the goodwill and contribution of the citizen journalists toward media or ordinary journalism must be honored and recognized as volunteers in the fourth pillar of nation building tasks. Therefore the role of citizen journalists is important as they make efforts in searching reliable news and sharing knowledge. While performing the voluntary service, they should learn ethics of journalism so that they will be awarded a greater credit by the general

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