Campaing Calls Brazilians to Cheer and Protest
Many problems inside the Government: corruption, lack of punishment together with problems in education, transportation, the health system, in the economy… A growing sensation of uncertainty is taking place in Brazil. Also, there is the wrong idea spread that once you turn on the TV and the Brazilians see the game everything will be forgotten. Actually maybe that is exactly the reason why the people are so skeptical or ashamed about the event somehow.
Many are right to believe that the worst that could happen right now is not let the games happen in peace. And not welcome the tourists in our traditional way, which is very warm and friendly. According to Isabel Monteiro ( @ GringaBrazilien ) “this is our moment to shine, we (Brazil) have to shine. This is the biggest Expo Brazil ever, we have to seize it!”I agree with that a 100 percent.
At my personal blog I lunched a modest campaign, I will translate parts of it so you may know what is in the hearts of many Brazilians. I know lots are enjoying it, because, although simple, it is spreading fast on the Internet.The title goes like “Brazil; cheer, win… don´t forget!”
“The CUP is here (in Brazil) and the worse that we could do would be not receive the world here properly, We will sure only loose. Our trades will not profit, temporary jobs won´t happen. And more, we won´t cheer as we like, as we always have.”
Later in the text: Let’s protest by wearing a black ribbon on top of our yellow and green. It will mean we love the game, the team and the country, but we won´t forget what is happening. The election (pulls) is at hand.”
You may see the whole original text here. The idea was to call people to a more creative protest format, really promote a way for them to express feelings and go back to what they are, yes, fans of the Yellow and Green Seleção.
Dayz Peixoto Fonseca. is a writer and cultural researcher. Recently she decided to produce a Youtube video about Brazilian flowers. She collected the pictures from Internet (free ones).
“I think Brazilians like to share feelings through the beauty. That was also what moved me to make this video.” she told me.
Brazilians like big things. We are proud to live in a big country. To have one of the world’s largest forests, giant trees, to have the Amazon river, the Iguaçu falls and so on.
There is a legend that every thing that is big comes from the city of Itu in the country side of São Paulo state. The legend came to be due to a commedy show around the 60’s and has never stoped grow too.
So yesterday when I posted the amazing picture of a giant lemon I came accross in Guarujá (SP) my friends imediately asked if it was from Itu and I had to explain that no, not this time, the lemon is from the state of Paraíba in the northeast of Brazil.
First published at OMNI – Published 2007-12-01 11:33 (KST)
Many of the most important literature writers were doctors, engineers, journalists, politicians, etc. Actually, despite their trade in life most often these men and women had something to say about what was happening inside and around them that drove them to the pen. They simply had something to say, an urge to write, to express their thoughts, skills, art — talent put forth on words.
Well, this has actually always happened, one way or another. The urge is really strong and finds its way out. We hear of indigenous people all over the world … how they get together around the fire, after a day of hardship for survival, sharing their fortunate and unfortunate experiences. Telling stories is something desirable. Telling stories became so important in our history that kings had people to write for them and tell their stories: in general about their victories, might and outstanding deeds. Often the king would gather his court to sit and enjoy the stories; probably he’d take the opportunity to censor them.
In our more recent past, the only way to tell our stories was through writing books or articles in newspapers or a newsletter of some sort. One way or another you had to put it down on paper. Nowadays we have the Web and more freedom of speech, or at least we want to have it, because as always the people in power are very sensitive to the written word. The first thing to be controlled by totalitarian governments is the press.
Nevertheless, we do enjoy much more freedom in the civilized world, for we may use the Internet and blogs, wikis, and even cell phones to interact and tell our stories. Now as then we can learn from each other and grow too. The World Wide Web went on growing faster them any one expected and we may, or most of us may, access information from anywhere in the world, about any subject and even go a step further and create information, stories, news — you name it.
The Web has broadened our vision and the possibilities to express ourselves. For me one of the most important recent events is collaborative journalism. With the motto “every citizen can be a reporter” I have set my pass. Well, my contribution, and notice that this is sort of a collaborative one, is to talk about what it is like to be a citizen reporter, a down to earth view of the possibilities, joys and difficulties of exercising your right to be a voice among many voices.
OhmyNews International (OMNI) is a collaborative newspaper and Web newspaper I have been writing for. It was one of the first of its kind and won’t be the last. At the OMNI Third International Citizen Reporters’ Forum in Seoul in July, Elgar Welch from Australia told us about Scopical. I believe many others will follow.
I like to write for OMNI. It is necessary to be aware of contributing material with an international appeal.
I decided to start writing to see how far I could get with it because I like it and because I wanted to make some money too. I did have some previous experience for I created and kept a village newspaper for two years. It was printed and distributed from house to house in the village where I was living at the time in Campinas, in the state of Sao Paulo, in Brazil. But writing in English to an international crowd of readers was far different, much more challenging and exciting.
Anyone can write. All you have to do is to find your media, choose a topic and get hands on work. I chose Brazil, its beauties, parties, troubles, controversies, government — and went on. I do have my preferences: controversies, achievements, politics, beautiful places, people in general and their life experiences — not exactly in that order.
You don’t need to be so skilled; there is room to learn. Try once, twice, it will get easier each time, especially if you get some coaching from your editor. The good collaborative Web sites will receive your material and edit it before they publish it. This is done, most of the time, by professional journalists working as editors. They are your best friends.
By comparing what you have submitted and what was actually published you can learn a lot. I hope you may be as lucky as I was, for I got Claire George right in the beginning; she used to work as an editor for OMNI. She always helped me with her remarks and guidelines: “Why don’t you interview some people on that matter?” she’d say, or, “How about some pictures to illustrate your point more?” I was lucky to have that.
(A note for Web site owners: bid on good interactive editing if you want to have good collaborators all over the world. It won’t take much longer and will provide you with better and better material each time.)
People are writing more and more, and through the Web, new opportunities to participate appear every day. As Oh Yeon Ho, president and CEO of OhmyNews, said during the forum, “In the many voices there is truth.” I would add: these voices are getting louder and louder.
This said, my friend, the sky is the limit! Go there, type your text and start reporting right now. Be true to yourself and to others and don’t use other people’s texts as your own and most of all, try to keep it down to the facts so your readers will learn to trust you.
Most Web sites will give you guidelines on how to be more effective and more accurate in producing material. Read good material others are producing to get models and some guidelines (again never copy others). Above all, write what comes to your mind and soon you will know your way around with words, just start right now.
Well, I basically write because I like it. It is an adventure. That is true and I think it is the best way to approach citizen journalism. But there are many benefits that could be mentioned.
We seem to live in a world where illiteracy is something of the past … away from us. But you would be surprise at the number of people even in the so-called developed countries who are actually functional literate people only. Of course this is more likely to happen in the Third World, as many people can assure you. So for sure, writing can give you a big advantage in the game of life.
After you are regularly published somewhere it will look very good in your resume, open doors in many places and prepare you for new and higher flights that maybe you never imagine before. As I said, I started as a citizen journalist just for fun and to make some pin money. Soon I discovered how it could be interesting for me in my trade, later for my job and recently for my life as a whole.
Benefits of Writing
It is enjoyable. I really think this is the most important drive one should have. Yes, you like and have pleasure in what you write or do.
Many times you submit a text you worked your fingers to the bone to get done and you do not get published. The editor, you know, has the right to publish your article or not. It is only his obligation, or I think it should be, to give the citizen journalist a feedback on it. I’ve already heard or read a lot of feedback … this is great, that is how one grows.
Back to pleasure, if you write out of any other reason other than your satisfaction I am afraid it won’t pay. It is fun and opens up the door to many great times of doing what you like. Maybe what you want is to be in the middle of a conflict, game, incident, revolution, celebration — you name it. If you have an opportunity check out “The Carnival in the Heart of the Rainforest.” You will see how reporting opens doors, but be careful what doors you choose! The text tells how I managed to make the most of that event in terms of enjoying it because I was going to report about it. It also does give you some good ideas on how to use your citizen journalist status for the better.
It was very nice to produce an article about that carnival. Also, Serafim Correa, the mayor of Manaus, granted me a nice speech on video.
It is a way of making some money. Making some extra money while you do something you like to have fun with is just fantastic.
Not all collaborative media available today pay for the content you supply … But that is not the only way you can make money with it. Be creative, after a while of being published and rejected (with proper feedback) you will grow and you may start offering your stories as a freelancer. Most citizen journalists do not have a journalism diploma, but a diploma is usually necessary if you are going to be hired as a professional journalist.
Working as a citizen journalist can be of great value to you, even bigger I think than blogging, for as a citizen journalist you will be edited, get published and be read as part of some media where you are not the only decision maker. You will vie for space and the reader’s attention and thus have a far more relevant asset to you curriculum — a fantastic display of your work skills. I already heard of people getting assignments for cash.
One personal experience here might go well. There is in Manaus a very nice forest hotel, kind of expensive, called Ariau Towers. Manaus is the capital of the state of Amazonas, in Brazil. It is in the heart of the world’s largest rain forest. Well, I got to stay free at the Ariau because I was going to write about my experience in the jungle and there. I spent a marvelous three days there sightseeing, taking pictures and talking to people. I never promised to speak well about the hotel, not necessarily; but as it turned out, it really was great. (I was even able to bring two friends along with me.)
Note on how I did it: When I started writing about Manaus I knew people all over the world wanted to know more and more about the Amazon. I had an eye on getting to know more about the jungle and believed that the Ariau Towers would be just the place to do that. But it is one of the most expensive hotels in Manaus. I went on writing and one day while I was planning my next business trip to Manaus I wrote to the hotel administration, showed them all published articles about Manaus and asked if they would give me some courtesy to stay there so I could write about the jungle, about that way of experiencing the forest. Later I wrote the article, it was published, and the door is open for a second visit any time.
(I prayed the hotel wouldn’t be doing anything wrong in the forest for I would have to report on it; turns out, they actually have nice programs directed at protecting the environment. It is a risk you run so you have to be careful!)
So as you can see, taking proper care, the byproduct of your citizen journalism experiences and actions can be very nice.
Citizen journalism is a way of getting your client’s attention. I did this in Manaus. Writing about Manaus was a way of showing my clients there that I cared for the city. I am from Sao Paulo in the south of Brazil. Manaus is in the far north. As everywhere in the world, the major news broadcasts are mainly about major cities — in Brazil, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. I really do care, you see, Manaus is very interesting. Writing as a citizen journalist about Manus helped me do it. In many of my presentations it became a great topic for conversation.
Citizen journalism is good for your status at your job. Well, the same way as for my clients, at work, people started to recognize my effort and give more credit to my actions. I have had the opportunity ofwriting about Software in Brazil and using Softway, the company I work for, as an example. Two of the company’s directors were my interviewees and the article received massive visits. Easy to see how this was great for me, right?
Citizen journalism may become the source of life experiences you never imagined. Sometime in June, I was home reading my e-mails. I got one from OMNI. It was an invitation to the Third International Citizen Reporters’ Forum in Seoul this past summer.
I don’t need to say much more, do I? The trip to Korea was very, very nice, something I never dreamed about — great flying experience, great people to get to know, great country I had never even in my wildest dreams thought of getting to know. Kamsahamnida OMNI! Kamsahamnida citizen journalism! (“Kamsahamnida” is “thank you” in Korean.)
This was an experience made possible by writing regularly.
So writing as a citizen journalist can a fun, enriching and adventurous experience; I strongly recommend it. Start right now. God only knows where you will find yourself next year. Good luck citizen journalist! If you would like to see what I wrote up until now at OMNI all you have to do is go to OMNI and in the search box, choose author, then input “Rix” and press “go.” I hope you like it! I have texts and photos published in many places like BBC World and WordPress but the majority is at OMNI.
Please, while at OMNI, be sure to check out Rajen Nair from India, Ana Maria Brambilla, also from Brazil, Na-young Han from Korea and who lives in the U.S., Prakash Luitel from Nepal and Yehonathan Tommer from Israel, just to name a few. You will see if you look around, what we mean when we talk about voices of the word.
Write and have fun!
An international Blog run by people from all over the world. A Citizen Reporting Platform or Stand simply. Yes, I was the one to catalyse this idea maybe, but not ever the one who had it for this was from long ago in the hearts and minds of many.
Those who went to regular medea industry now don´t have that much time to play with the news. Play seriously, I should notice. I say play only because those who remain Citizen Reporters still can choose free their topics, tittles, etc.
That is the fun of it. I never wanted to be a professional journalist. Editors on my neck, I wanna be away from that. Being edited for quality, language, best titles that is very nice. As Citizen Reporter I can and i will choose the next topic, that is fantastic.
I want to express my gratitude to those who will contribute to this blog. To Retty N. Hakim and Claire George my special thanks.
On Twitter some British women write “squee” when they want to express their excitement. It was a lovely surprise to receive an invitation from Carlos Rix asking me to join this blog. Squee! Squee!
I have never forgotten my time at OhmyNews. When talking to people in Britain I always emphasise the time I spent chatting with citizen reporters from around the world. I think it was formative.
I hope Carlos keeps reaching out and inviting in more former citizen reporters, particularly the Nepali writers as they were such a big part of the site in its early days. I was a citizen reporter long before I ever worked on the editing side of things. Best wishes to everybody. (Now I have to put my thinking hat on and find a story to write.)
It was six years ago that we all met in Seoul. It was a very inspiring moment in my life. The chance to meet Oh Yeon-ho, Jean K. Min, Dan Gillmor, our editor Todd Thacker, and of course with all of the citizen reporters from all over the world was really amazing. I was actually expecting to meet Claire George, who was also a very kind and inspiring editor for me. Unfortunately, she was not there. I was too excited to grab a lot of experiences that I could not write in Seoul. Once I went back home, I wrote three articles for OMNI and two articles for the mainstream media. And now, six years after the International Forum, may be I can also share some of my news from Indonesia.
My First Time in Seoul was a bit of sharing my personal diary to others. Actually, after visiting Seoul I became more interested in Korean art and culture. The other two articles I shared in OMNI were: Toward a Better World, and Citizen Journalism Looks to a Better World. Things that I wrote there are still developing in Indonesia now. Citizen journalism was evolving greatly in Indonesia. The mainstream media tried to engage themselves with citizen’s view through citizen journalism. Those citizen journalism outlets from the mainstream media seemed to grow bigger. Of course there were also problems, yet they seemed more stable than the stand alone citizen journalism websites. Yet, as Dan Gillmor said to me in Seoul, “It is the learning process.” Yes, we are learning how to utilize the citizen journalism outlets for a better world.
The other two articles I wrote after my presence in Ohmy News International Citizen Reporters’ Forum were for the mainstream media. Both are related to my personal interest. I wrote about the exhibition of the Indonesian artifacts in the National Museum of Korea for the Jakarta Post. And the other article was for Tabloid Rumah, about my visit to Seoul. As I was graduated as an architect and used to work in that field, I found the architectural heritage of Seoul as an interesting model where the traditional and modern architecture enhancing each other. So I wrote about it for the readers of Tabloid Rumah in the traveling section. I also added the story of Korean houses that I got from the Children Museum, a section of the National Museum of Korea that was really inspiring me.
I have seen (through Facebook) that some friends whom I met in Seoul became more engage in journalism as professional journalists, some other became more serious in the field they have chosen. For myself, I continue to volunteer for the National Museum in Jakarta as a part of the Indonesian Heritage Society, and teaching youngsters. Yet, since last year I have been working full time in a high school, helping the students who are interested in journalism to develop their writing skills. I am keeping myself informed about the development of citizen journalism in Indonesia, and I think I can share more about it in my next posts.
How about you? Please share your story with us…