Have you ever heard a similar phrase? If not, consider yourself a novice in the citizen journalism. Every Citizen is a Journalist is the motto of the pioneer citizen journalism site, OhMyNews of South Korea. OhMyNews, successful financially and journalistically, has some 30,000 citizen reporters who can write news for it and earn a few dollars. Wikinews is another successful venture, without the dollar attraction. There are many others trying to attract common people to involve themselves in collection, analysis and writing of news and information.
Where is Nepal then? We are still at a very early stage because even blogs are late comer in this part of the world. Now when looks like the attraction of blogging is is increasing, it’s not surprising for me that somebody thought of beginning a citizen media site. [If fact, I have myself pondered the idea during early days of United We Blog! and had read numerous articles about OhMyNews’ rise. I gave up the idea after I learnt that almost 70 per cent of South Koreans use broadband and in my own country even dial-up users are very limited.]
But all aren’t as pessimist as me. In fact, Prameya Bhandari, a Nepali youth studying in USA, is much more optimistic. He has began MeroSansar.Info (well, the name is shared with Umesh Shrestha of MeroSansar). The offer, a cup of coffee for each news published in the site. A cup of coffee is equivalent to US$1 for him.
So how many citizen reporters he has now? ‘About 100 registered members’ who might be reporting or writing. His US$1 initiative had got much response because he ‘thinks he need more traffic’. I had an exchange of emails with him about the project so to understand what’s going on.
I am still pessimist as I was earlier about it success, but I really hope it would grow. Prameya has US$500 in offer right now for the cups of coffee but if he gets to pay that much in about a year I would laud the project a success and I am sure he would be able to boost himself as the pioneer of citizen media in Nepal. (And he is a teenager!).
I really hope many more Nepali will join it. He has asked me to join, but I am not joining him (not because I don’t like it or anything) because getting people like me who are already blogging or doing something for the propagation of the citizen media initiatives won’t do any good for the Nepali blogosphere.
If you are not already in blogging, please do join (if you like off course you can ask Prameya not to pay you because he is using his personal money for it). Good Luck Prameya and MeroSansar.Info.