When major events occur in our digital age, the public can offer as much valuable information as professional journalists do. In Pakistan, for example, citizens have been contributing reports on the latest flooding disaster through cell phones to the Pakistani citizen journalism service SeenReport.com.
According to a post on PBS MediaShift Idea Lab, SeenReport (a name derived from "see 'n report") is a citizen journalism service through which users can submit photos, videos and text accounts of news as it is happening via SMS, MMS, or email.
The site allows every cell phone user to become a reporter. Sharjeel Qureshi, one of the founders of the service, told MobileActive.org how the process works:
"A citizen reporter captures an event on a mobile phone and sends the content to SeenReport. There is no manual intervention at this stage -- the content is automatically published on the SeenReport website to better ensure real-time reports which augment larger ongoing events. Further, citizen reporters can register personal information on the site after submitting material."
After users submit their reports, their material appears on SeenReport’s social networking websites like Twitter and Facebook automatically.
The website features different news events in Pakistan, including the recent flooding that affected millions of people there. Abdul Majid, a SeenReport contributor, posted photos of survivors in Faisalabad, a city in the Punjab province.