Tech-savvy ways to have your say

HUMAN beings have always been fascinated with news about their communities and the world around them but never before have we used such tech-savvy ways to find that information.

One of the most powerful examples of this phenomenon is the way people are turning to YouTube for serious news content, and it is happening right here in Gladstone.

Dr Nicholas Carah from the School of Journalism and Communications at University of Queensland said the YouTube platform allowed “citizen journalists” to tap into something different to conventional media.

“The citizen journalist can identify issues in their community that the media are ignoring, and they have the skill to go out and make a story about it.”

“But it really starts to take off when they can either push that out into their social networks, or get the mainstream media to pay attention.”

In the Gladstone region, Michael Garrahy, a lawyer for Law Essentials, has been conducting video interviews with dozens of commercial fishermen operating out of Gladstone Port.

The interviews allow commercial fishermen to express their concerns about the health of fisheries in the region.

Mr Garrahy said his YouTube videos were far from a form of journalism.

“I don’t think about it in that context at all,” he said.

“It is just gathering people’s information and making sure their views are discussed and heard.

“It’s an easy way to get information to people because it saves you repeating information a hundred times. It also enables people to consolidate, network and collaborate about things that are impacting in a particular way.”

Dr Carah said regional Australians were as inclined as anyone to watch online news videos, but internet speed was the key.

“As soon as folks get access to better (online) media infrastructure they find ways to adapt that to their culture. They use it in a way that fits what they want to do in their community and what information they want to circulate.”

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