Citizen journalism is the kind of journalism, which involves citizens, who do not have any degree in journalism, but collect and analyze the information actively. The purpose of this activity is the return of functions of democratic medium to journalism. This means that it belongs to no one and provides independent, reliable, versatile and relevant information. Citizen journalism (also it may be called social, democratic or combined) is not a profession. It can be defined as the active participation of the audience in the process of collecting, analyzing and publishing information and news. A group of American researchers claim, that the aim of such audience participation in journalistic activity is to provide independent, current, accurate, complete and reliable information as it is required in a democratic society. Typically, people involved in citizen journalism do not get an income. However, the owners of Internet portals, where the reports of civilian journalists are published, may make money on this news, but civilian journalists themselves are satisfied only with glory and attendance ratings. Citizen journalism began to develop with the development of the Internet and new digital technologies. Arab Spring is a series of revolutions, mass street protests and internal armed conflicts in some Arab countries of North Africa, which began in late 2010 in Tunisia. In some countries, it continues for today. In several states (such as Syria, Libya) revolution unfolded even to the extent of the civil war. In general, this very significant event swept all Arabic countries, but none of them skipped changing of political paradigm. The reasons for this great process is varying: social, economical, political, globalizational. As the world is moving to a globalization in high temp (mostly because of the widespread of the Internet, television and mobile phones), the political leaders of the modern era absolutely must listen to their people, fight against corruption and protect human rights. The Arab spring significant feature was broad social base of protests that began just as the revolution “from below”. The main requirements were not very high and concerned only a socio-economic aspect. For example, protesting people demanded the creation of new working places and lowering of the prices for food.
Promises of citizen journalism, and Arab spring in partition, have their own specifics. First is efficiency, i.e. the ability to perform their tasks quickly and accurately. While information is prepared, printed and distributed in the traditional way, at least a day passes. Citizen journalism does not use this scheme, and disseminates information on the Internet, providing immediate publication of the data. In Tweets from Tahrir it is signed: “The Arab uprising would not have happened at the speed and in the manner in which they did without social media. That can we say”. Typically, witnesses are authors of articles. Communication with the audience. A close relationship with the audience is an inalienable part of a citizen journalism. Such policies exist in some other media, but not of this magnitude. Newspapers occasionally mail to their readers, mostly it is a correspondence in one direction. The Internet is another issue solved – everyone can comment what he read, express their opinion, and get answers from recipient. A person can also complete or refute the information. Trust. A naturally high level of mistrust rights to the information provided has become natural a long ago. A message from an unknown sender in informal electronic publications not reject this law. However, there is a great number of facts that evidence of the authenticity of citizen journalism despite all. Voluntary desire. Citizen journalism is based on the sender voluntarily wish to share relevant and interesting information. It just does not make sense to spread false information for a person, of course, if he is not trying to gain personal benefit, such as a representative of the party that harms the reputation of competitors or advertising their political power. However, this interferes with other provisions. In addition, information provided by addresser must have a sufficient number of points and completeness of the informational message.
The wave of Arab revolutions began with Tunisia. According to Empire – Social networks, social revolution, “Protest broke out across the world, showing solidarity with Tunisia”. Protests had started in Egypt, and then Yemen and Bahrain erupted. In Libya, Gaddafi regime fell. The protests swept all the Arab countries, including Jordan and Oman. The simultaneity of all this events is a significant feature of Arab spring. Protests almost completely extinguished by the end of 2011 – with the exception of Syria and Egypt. In most countries of the Middle East protesters got what they wanted – long-presidents resigned, the people received expanded rights and freedoms, democratic reforms began in the Middle East. But there was the reverse side of the coin – gripped by permanent revolution, the region has become an ideal hotbed for radical Islamists. The civil war in Libya have trained tens of thousands of fighters who are now fighting against the forces of Bashar Assad in Syria and against NATO forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Egypt, radical Islamists – the Muslim Brotherhood – briefly took power, but still did not stop attempts to regain influence. The consequences of the Arab spring – both positive and negative – will be felt for a long time in the troubled region.
There are real threats to security in the Arabic countries of North Africa and Middle East as a result of the events of “Arab spring”:
- Further exacerbation of clan power struggle in those countries will lead to enforcement of military control of the US and NATO allies of Washington in this region to gain the so-called “stabilization” in those states without wasting a lot of time.
- Worsening of conflict of interests among Arabic countries of regional and extra-regional meaning. The enforcement in fighting of clans around with the permanent breakdown of talks in those countries creates conditions that lead to the threat of starting of full-scale war in the region.
- Failure to regional security mechanisms, the vision of the Arab League in the Arabic countries in particular; and ambiguous UNSCRs actors of worldwide meaning, which challenged the efficiency of the Security Council made decisions and the right to their implementation.
- Gaps in the process of creating a new world with the new system of international law as the old one needs fundamental change. In the future, there will be two issues of determining the future structural development of implementation mechanism of both global and regional security systems: self-defense and blocks right and an armed irruption.
- Strengthening of the Islam’s political role. Pro-islamic regimes that are gaining the power with high temps with the will (most likely, the fake will) to create a democratic social and political regime in all the Arabic countries with the help of the West create the emergence of the argument on the issue of strengthening of Islam’s political meaning.
To sum up, a citizen journalism is the best way to get true information about recent events instantly. This kind of journalism has many benefits, but it has a number of limits and risks too. Arab spring is a bright example of citizen journalism with all of the outcomes.