LatinaLista — The overthrow of Honduras President Manuel Zelaya Rosales has created more than just a tiny country defying the world in defending their actions but it has created a surprising spin-off benefit -- the rise of citizen journalists.
Citizen Journalist Hunter Smith
Latina Lista first learned that U.S.-based news outlets were getting the wrong story out after hearing from Honduran-based bloggers that pointed out some crucial facts "overlooked" by mainstream media:
1. Zelaya had been breaking the law for several months and his last act was defying a Supreme Court order not to hold a referendum vote that would have extended his presidency.
2. Supporters of the overthrow of Zelaya outnumbered Zelaya's supporters and the protests held by so-called "coup supporters" were large and peaceful in contrast to the violence perpetuated by the Zelaya marches.
Most of the Honduras-based bloggers that have communicated with Latina Lista are, interestingly, American-born but living for one reason or another in Honduras. Because they speak English, understand what is happening in the country and saw how quickly the world was to condemn the "overthrow," these citizen journalists have taken it upon themselves to report the story as the majority of Hondurans see it.
The latest citizen journalist to take up the cause of getting the real story out has a story of his own. His name is Hunter Smith and he's a former Marine. While working in his parents' business waiting to start school in the fall, Hunter watched the news reports about Honduras.
In his mind, the stories didn't gel and he felt that the only way to get to the truth was to do something he had never dreamed of doing -- being a citizen journalist. So from July 3 to July 17, Hunter has been acting like a journalist -- chasing leads, interviewing officials and witnesses and writing up what he has uncovered on his blog Honduras Abandoned.
His insights lead to a very different story that mainstream media continues to report.
Always ready for a new adventure, I decided to go find out for myself. I was tired of biased news reports and I had to see for myself if this tiny Central American country truly underwent a coup, or if they legally removed a potential dictator and chose to be a free people.
This site is just a one trick pony. My stay here in Honduras is quickly coming to an end. Once I return to the States, I will no longer be updating on the situation here in Honduras. All I hoped for was to see what was truly happening and write about it on this little blog. If it was able to accurately inform at least one person, then I consider this venture a success.