Journal for and from bothered citizens

During the first part of the 20th century, Pathé became the largest film equipment and production company in the world, and one of the great favourites bringing world-news to the general public.

Last century the news brought to the general public first appeared in the cinema by the Pathé newsreels. The news clips featured the Pathé logo of a crowing rooster at the beginning of each reel. Afterwards television got in more households and found it a goal to bring international information to the viewers.

As television became more popular it began to have more international appeal.  As more television stations became dependent on advertising agencies for their support, much of their control over content was influenced by their sponsors and advertisers, often biasing the original content, in order to support their financial needs.  Some television stations maintained their integrity like the BBC while others more the voice of their sponsors, or political agencies.

At the beginning of this century, citizens in the private sector began to take a more active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analysing, and disseminating news and information. In response to these shortcomings in professional journalism an activist form of news-gathering and reporting group that functioned outside mainstream media institutions, came into existence.

Local area reporting soon became a priority and resulted in the establishment of a number of local broadcasters, willing to bring high quality reporting into these smaller communities. Public itself was also looking for locally oriented, professional news coverage that typically focuses on city neighbourhoods, individual suburbs or small towns, rather than metropolitan, state, national or world news.

People riding public transportation were now finding free newsletters at various locations in subway, bus, train station, airport and shopping malls.  These free papers began to compete with the free Community weekly newspapers, causing them to be financially challenged during the 1980-90 period, but regained their readership from 2000 on.

In order to satisfy their advertisers, new and creative reporting methods were employed, beginning with advertising [public interest articles] that soon developed greater rapport with the local citizens who continued to look for more specific coverage on the subjects the national media was not providing ie. local High School sporting events, zoning issues, vandalism and other details of their community life.  Local or public interest articles often dismissed as “chicken dinner,” or “Table,” stories were now becoming popular.

Several newspapers and television organisations tried to get the news as hot as possible  and asked their readers and viewers to participate, as well as making use of the many social-media as  Youtube and Facebook publications. Informing the public not only from the big organisations but also from the public, engaging citizens and creating public debate.

MsngroupsSeveral bloggers, after the ending of MSN Groups still wanted to have more people participating in informing each other. Journalists and their audiences did not want to stay just objective spectators in political and social processes, but wanted to have their personal site of the story as well. Multiply stopping its free blog service made that several bloggers went to other platforms like WordPress where they found more writers and articles crossing their path. A civic journalism movement came to seek to treat readers and community members as participants. the aim of many of the writers was to inform the public about either specific subjects or to talk more generally, nut chit-chatting as many did on Facebook, but trying to cover seriously important subjects. Many writers knew in advance their subjects or their ideas could perhaps not reach as many readers like the social media, but they are more interested in a small (if it had or has to stay small) but committed following. Their citizen journalism has become as much of a philosophy as it is a practice.Multiply Bijbelonderzoekers

The main goal of those WordPress writers (like me) is to address people as citizens, potential participants in public affairs, rather than victims or spectators. For that reason I also brought the Xanga Christadelphian Stepping Toes over to WordPress. I would love to bring some news facts and ideas which could be sometimes chocking, weird, or bringing ideas which would not be like the common way of thinking or questioning the attitude of the majority of people.
I know from such writing I would not make a penny, but as long as  I am able to keep the wolf from the door I will be pleased to inform as many as I can and would like to bring some articles for thought in this time of bread and circuses.

I think it is important more people show more sense of public responsibility. More people could put their hand out to help the political community act upon, rather than just learn about, its problems. For too long many have stayed passive or where only in their small circles to complain about situations instead daring to come out in front of more people and/or politicians. Lots of people have forgotten that they have more in their hands than they would think. they could and should improve the climate of public discussion, rather than simply watch it deteriorate; and help make public life go well, so that it earns its claim on our attention and speak honestly about its civic values, its preferred view of politics, its role as a public actor.

We also should people get to understand it would be a much nicer world when we have more colour in it, not everybody being dressed the same and thinking the same in everything. More people should get to understand and to accept that people may think differently but still can live peacefully together.

For that reason I am also looking for some writers who would not mind joining us, to share some articles on a regular basis on Stepping toes, bringing something into the attention of others. The aim is to make people more aware of their environment (humans, fauna and flora,climate matters), talking about way of life, conduct or the way we behave or should behave in the community, religion and spirituality.

As referee or you could say umpire or judge, we shall also look from a Christian point of view at those matters brought forward. I would love to reach all sorts of people, believing in God or gods or non believing in a supernatural power, getting to come to understand that we all can and should come to live together in a multicultural society.

Those willing to participate on Stepping toes, or any other open platform, should be willing to give to their readers the possibility to get to know more about certain subjects, and to value the concerns of citizens over the needs of the media and political actors, and conceives of citizens as stakeholders in the democratic process rather than as merely victims, spectators or inevitable adversaries. As inherent participants in the process, my hope is that I can find more persons interested to do our work together in ways that aid in the resolution of public problems by fostering broad citizen engagement.

The engagement I am looking for is not as such as the notable examples of citizen journalism reporting from major world events like we could find at the Arab Spring, the Occupy Wall Street movement, the 2013 protests in Turkey, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. No cellphones for me to get sudden messages or no Facebookpostings quickly finding their way into my e-mail box, getting my attention, because I am useless in following up Facebook.

Maybe the articles or newscoverage could be too subjective, haphazard in quality and coverage but hopefully not amateurish and interesting enough to attract serious readers. I do agree it can well be that on ‘Stepping toes’, like on my site, you can find people without professional journalism training using the tools of modern technology and the global distribution of the Internet to create, augment or fact-check media on their own or in collaboration with others.
It is the collaboration we are looking for at the Belgian Christadelphian ecclesia to get Stepping toes again on the rails.

After fact-checking newspaper articles or television journals from the mainstream media the intention is that the writers on Stepping toes would comment on the situation or happening or point out factual errors or bias on the writing.

Broadcasting House, London

Broadcasting House, London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like the project WorldWeekly, Now Public and our older Weekly World Watch we would like to have an overview of the weekly events in the world and bring coverage of the incidents to encourage debate and exchange of opinion. By sharing our thoughts and knowledge, we can create a healthy environment for journalism to grow and develop. How more writers we could get how more enriching it can become. Therefore comments of the readers are also appreciated.

But Stepping toes would love to look back on what happened in history as well and remember also writings from people who died already. Older sayings can still be valuable today and therefore could be worthwhile to be quoted again.

In the growing number of community blogs Stepping toes would like to look at the events also from an ethical and religious point of view and aiming to encourage civic engagement, working at or to strive for a better world.

Hopefully several writers would like to pursuit their ambition to stimulate others in the world to co-operate to seek a peaceful living together.


Don’t wait until tomorrow, act now and join the community of bloggers who would like to see the world join hands in peace.

Do you want to get to know some more Bloggers for peace?

You too can join Bloggers for peace.



Additional reading:

  1. Social Media: What Is It?
  2. Facebook Wall and Wall-posting
  3. Community journalism
  4. Journalism ethics and standards
  5. Non-profit journalism
  6. Xanga Toe Stepper made silent
  7. Stepping toes {revisited}
  8. New platform for Stepping Toes
  9. Believing to understand
  10. Find Message Boards with BoardTracker (be careful, read also >)+ Reputation of

Peace Love Write+++

  • Government flacks don’t get to decide who’s a journalist (
    News releases are public statements and anybody who wants to get them — whether they run any sort of publication or not — should be able to sign up for them. Otherwise we’ll have the government deciding who’s a real journalist and who isn’t.
  • The other half of WordPress (
    With ten years under its belt, WordPress has firmly cemented its place in the hearts of bloggers. But what next for its co-founder Mike Little? David Crookes finds out…
    Little is currently working on a series of screencasts which showcase how WordPress can be used, explaining the fundamentals of it to encourage more people to get involved with blogging using the platform. It’s a slow process – “it takes about an hour to edit a minute’s footage,” he says – but he’s getting there. The idea is that the screencasts will form a paid-for online course. “I want them to be better than anything else that is out there, so they have to be done right,” he says. “There is a lot of rubbish being made where you get someone just filming what they are doing and there are lots of ums and ahs and backtracking. My screencasts won’t be like that and people will certainly get value for money.”
  • Finding Treasure in Boards and Forums (
    Most people turn to the web as a primary information source these days, but there’s a lot of great stuff in traditional forums and bulletin board systems—if you know where to look.You may be familiar with our Search Engine Watch forums, our community of people interested in discussing search engines and search marketing with one another. There are literally thousands of other online forums dedicated to specialized topics, ranging the gamut from astronomy to zymurgy.
  • Citizens Are The Soylent Green of Today’s Politics (
    Today, politics is considered a lucrative career choice, not service to one’s country. The rise of the professional politician was never anticipated by the Founders of the nation. Yet, had the Constitution been strictly adhered to, the improper incentives that drove the change could never have occurred.Criminal activity always promises higher returns than legal activity, especially for the less talented. This form of monopoly profit always attracts the most ruthless. Prohibition, as an example, provided the opportunity for excess profits that attracted many a thug. The beginnings of US organized crime syndicates are widely believed to have started as a result.
  • Citizensourcing Involves People in What Affects Them Most (
    Citizensourcing software, which puts organisations in touch with people but with more control than social media, is being released by leading social innovation platform HunchBuzz.Citizensourcing is a new wave in engagement tools available to central government, local bodies, policy makers and political parties.Focused on creating dialogue with citizens, HunchBuzz allows organisations to communicate with decision makers through rewarding participation and improving two-way engagement.
  • The people must come first (
    Unfortunately political parties are formed based on ideals, but are soon overtaken by the vested interests of those in leadership and thus we get a disconnect between stated noble intentions and actual actions of politicians on the ground.By nature, political structures and motives are in conflict with what is best for the majority of citizens. The question is: how do we align politics and its nature with the interests of citizens so that the objectives of politics continue to be aligned with our needs? Furthermore, how do we remove the tendency of politics to serve the interests of the party first at the expense of serving the needs of citizens? If we can answer this question intelligently, we shall have begun on a new path of freedom and liberty – a goal that remains elusive not only in Zimbabwe but in Africa as a whole.
    My ideas on the future go against the grain. They go against the belief systems that those in politics have the talents and competencies required to effectively transform our societies into better social systems. I am against political hierarchies, patronage systems and how politicians continue to misallocate our resources. I do not believe that those who end up in politics are necessarily committed to the ideals of building better, more informed, free and prosperous communities.
    We must create new social management systems that involve our communities, are accountable to our communities and that bring the best among us to be the custodians of our future.
  • Two new reports on civic engagement in schools identify a central role for scholastic journalism skills (

    Youth will need digital media literacy skills to critically engage with all the information (and misinformation) they can now find online, to seek out a range of perspectives, and to be thoughtful about the content they circulate and create.

    That’s among the big-picture takeaways from a groundbreaking new study, “All Together Now: Collaboration and Innovation for Youth Engagement,” just released by Tufts University as the product of the nation’s leading scholars in civic education.

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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13 Responses to Journal for and from bothered citizens

  1. It may look a nice idea to create a journal blog, taking care the religious person easily be informed about what is going on in the world. We need such a place where we can find at a glance the news about the most important events in the world and an update of writings about ethics and changes in the religious world.

    We only wonder if it would be possible to get enough writers together who are willing to share a platform with people of different opinions. Today people are more concerned about their own position and have such an egoistic attitude they are not eager to share their position with others, let stand with those of an other opinion or other religion than theirs.

    The ones trying to make ‘Stepping toes’ work should be writers who are bitten by the microbe of journalism or by the drive to write about that what they love intensely, be it religion, ethics, or human interest. We are very curious if you shall be able to find journalists or professional writers who would like to spend time at a non-commercial platform to help such a various public to get more knowledge for free and without any intention to get something from that public, other than their willingness to return and to become regular readers.

    It may be a commendable initiative, but not easy to accomplish. We express the hope that there will be enough writers who find it important to work at a better world, and who know that to get there there needs to be an informed public first and enough people who are willing to think about the current situations, able to find several solutions to get further in the making of their democratic system of living.

    It would be lovely to see a collective of different writers on various subjects gathered together in one news blog.
    We hope you shall be able to succeed to attract writers as well as readers.

    Good luck.


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