I’m finishing up my thesis today. I’m burnt out and exhausted from this process, but I’ve learned a lot about citizen journalism along the way.
I’ve learned a lot about what other people are doing, why they’re doing it and what they plan to do in the future. I’ve also learned a lot about what other people think about the movement.
The most I have learned in the last year, though, has been through working for WestportNow. No amount of research can replace working together with citizen journalists. Many times I’m the pro helping guide the amateur, but it’s also fantastic to see the “amateurs” evolve.
There is one photographer who I have seen evolve from someone who takes scenics to having a nose for news. She knows what’s going on in the community and if something is important. By doing so, she has helped us grab things that other people just don’t have. I appreciate all her hard work, and I can’t even begin to express the pride I feel when I see how much she has done.
So this thesis will eventually be behind me. It’ll probably be published since there is a lot of original research included. Will it draw attention to me? Who knows? But in the end, it’s not the paper that has been most valuable to me in learning and developing opinions about this subject. It’s the work I’ve done in the trenches.