Thursday, March 25, 2021

Does Rule 303 apply to "citizen" media and teaching? | #sol21 Day 25

If you follow Beau of the Fifth Column on YouTube or Twitter (@BeauFTC), then you know Rule 303: "If you have the means at hand, you have the responsibility to act."  

What does that mean in the context of teaching and citizen media (whatever that is)? Bear with me, I'll get there.

Blogging and posting content to public pages and platforms create citizen media. When that content is accurate and and designed to educate readers, then then the creators are informal educators.

Both independent journalists and citizen media inform the public, If presenting information to the public is educational, these writers are teachers even if not working within the usual institutional framework.

Granted the journalists probably don't consider themselves teachers or "citizen media" journalism. Let's allow and clarify that distinction. They are not the same but also not unrelated.

The so-called recent turn to independent journalism not affiliated with mainstream outlets is not new, just kitted out with new names, on new platforms and using new software. Unlike citizen media, it is practiced by experienced, professional journalists who want to make a living at it.

Do you remember the early internet terms: citizen media, participatory media, indy media, citizen journalism?  Whatever you want to call the citizens creating and publicly publishing their media, they are not necessarily out to make a living although some do. For others it is hobby, avocation, side gig. 

Getting back to Rule 303, this trip started with thoughts on writing for, posting on or starting and maintaining public media sites as an avocation. I asked myself, "If not actual teaching isn't this at least teaching adjacent?" Further, if you have a public page or pages -- whether website, blog, Facebook page/s or (toggleable) public timeline, Twitter stream/s or on other social media platforms -- what is your personal responsibility to inform (contribute to the education of) the public? Or professional responsibility as an educator, whether retired, active or in training?  

The answer is Rule 303: "If you have the means at hand, you have the responsibility to act."  

Posts tagged #sol21 are part of this year's blogging  challenges  hosted by Two Writing Teachers, which include SOLSC, the annual March 31 day writing streak and the more modest weekly #SoL Tuesdays to stay connected by serving up and sharing weekly snapshots (aka slices) of life through writing. Read more posts by taday's slicers here

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