The above picture shows a student in Manila protesting against the suppression of freedom of the press. This image was taken from a USA today article speaking about the organized violence against journalists.
The author conducts 25 field interviews in the Dominican Republic in order to better understand how the people in the peripheries of society participate in citizen journalism and share their realities. The author provides historical context of the political state of the Dominican Republic and highlights the institutionalized state repression of journalists. She then provides the conceptual framework and variations of definitions of citizen journalism which established citizen journalism as original news published without any aid of professional journalist and the larger media companies. She finds in her research that there are forces that make engaging in citizen journalism difficult. She identifies these factors as such: structural challenges, Institutional challenges, individual challenges. Structural challenges involve the communities ability to spread news without access to necessities such as the internet or electricity. Institutional challenges refers to overall political climate that puts journalists in danger. Lastly, individual challenges that include overall motivation, accessibility to news to stories and lacking credibility.
The author utilizes her background on Latin American studies and Digital Media to conduct this research. The author strengthens her research by conducting these interviews in the subject’s natural environment and selecting a wide array of people located in different regions of the Dominican Republic. She supports her arguments by referring to other historian’s literature and framework for the basis of her study.
The article helps demonstrate the aftermaths of a 30 year long dictatorship who suppressed any form of citizen journalism that spoke out against the regime. By analyzing the way marginalized communities disperse news, it allowed the reader to contextualize the need for hyper-local news when the regime is suppressing freedom of press.