Communication Citizen Journalism
by
James F. Hamilton
  • LAST REVIEWED: 07 November 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 June 2015
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756841-0169

Introduction

Perhaps the most important organizational development in journalism since its professionalization more than a hundred years ago is the emergence of citizen journalism. Although nonprofessionals have engaged in journalism for as long as it has been regarded as a profession, in the 21st century, citizen journalism as a form of nonprofessional journalism has disrupted conventional institutional boundaries and practices at a time of severe economic and social challenges to the industry. Citizen journalism calls into question institutionalized presumptions such as that good journalism requires a period of intensive training and its corollary claim that legitimate journalism can only be conducted by people who have completed such training and who work for established news organizations. Yet, today, nonprofessionally gathered accounts and images are increasingly and paradoxically an accepted part of the output of professional news organizations and their claims to producing an authoritative account of the world’s events. Granting the complex reasons for this and the complex ways in which it occurs, citizen journalism is both a symptom and a cause of the current crisis in journalism economics and cultural authority, one with great significance for the role of journalism in democratic societies.

General Overviews

Citizen journalism labels the activity of nonprofessionals practicing journalism. Outing 2005 and Watson 2011 catalogue its varying relationships with professional journalism organizations, from being curated by them to entirely separate if not overtly critical of them. From the start of scholarly attention in the early 2000s, the implications of citizen journalism remain contentious and debated, with the key tensions identified by Allan and Thorsen 2009 (p. 4) posed as a trade-off of openness versus quality, and democratization versus credibility. Scholars such as Allan 2006 and Siapera and Veglis 2012 argue that, whatever the position taken, traditional news organizations must adapt to it or become extinct. By extending journalism and global distribution to conceivably anyone, citizen journalism calls into question claims that journalism requires extensive training and/or apprenticeships. By enabling people outside of closed news organizations to gather, write and distribute information globally, it also wreaks havoc on claims that only professionally trained journalists can write authoritative accounts, as well as that traditionally objective-style reporting is the only way to compose such accounts, a development as Hamilton 2008 argues with roots in long-standing declines of economic viability and cultural authority. By developing digital newsgathering in many cases as a collective enterprise, Steiner and Roberts 2011 argues it calls into question the democratic role of news that is a rigidly controlled and managed product. And by demonstrating the economic viability of wholly digital journalism available via a screen rather than printed on paper, citizen journalism also destabilizes traditional means of support, which rely on exclusivity and control. The best recent global survey of these developments is Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development 2010, which examines in detail the increasing global economic crisis in journalism mainly due to the rise of new models of news creation and distribution made possible by the Internet. Although early studies focused primarily on the United States, scholarship soon addressed a variety of examples in different countries, underscoring how citizen journalism is shaped by local cultures and news practices.

  • Allan, Stuart. 2006. Online news: Journalism and the Internet. New York: Open Univ. Press.

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    Focused account of key episodes in the emergence of citizen journalism, beginning with journalists’ use of public images in the wake of the Indonesia tsunami disaster of 2004. Argues that news companies now recognize that the emergence of citizen journalism needs to be embraced in order for themselves to prosper, if not simply survive.

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    • Allan, Stuart, and Einar Thorsen, eds. 2009. Citizen journalism: Global perspectives. New York: Peter Lang.

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      Broad international range of case studies of citizen journalism. The first section contains examples of citizen journalism used in crises of the moment, and the second section looks at its role and uses in the course of traditional democratic, parliamentary politics.

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      • Hamilton, James F. 2008. Market radicalism and the struggle for participation. In Democratic communications: Formations, projects, possibilities. By James Hamilton, 199–231. Lanham, MD: Lexington.

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        Provides a critical-historical analysis of the conditions that generated citizen journalism, viewing it as a recent response to the intensifying economic and cultural challenges to traditional media organizations.

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        • Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. 2010. The evolution of news and the Internet. Paris: OECD.

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          Addresses the emergence of citizen journalism from the point of view of the news industry, surveying emerging business models and forms. Concludes that key discussions in many countries seek a balance between how to help professional news industries survive and preserving a news industry independent of editorial pressures from patronage sources.

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          • Outing, Steve. 2005. The 11 layers of citizen journalism. Poynter Online.

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            Describes citizen journalism in terms of the different institutional roles in professional newsgathering organizations that users are invited to fill, from commenting on individual stories posted by news organizations, to open-source reporting partnerships, standalone citizen journalism projects, and “pro-am” partnerships.

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            • Siapera, Eugenia, and Andreas Veglis, eds. 2012. The handbook of global online journalism. Malden, MA: Wiley.

              DOI: 10.1002/9781118313978Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

              A wide-ranging overview that sees citizen journalism as an outcome of the digitization and globalization of traditional journalism. Includes discussions of politics, production, practices, content, and global case studies.

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              • Steiner, Linda, and Jessica Roberts. 2011. Philosophical linkages between public journalism and citizen journalism. In Media perspectives for the 21st century. Edited by Stylianos Papathanassopoulos, 191–211. New York: Routledge.

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                Thoughtful discussion of the trajectory of challenges to traditional professionalized journalism as represented by public journalism of the 1990s and citizen journalism more recently. Concludes that citizen journalism has much to offer traditional journalism, such as in boosting lengthy investigative reporting projects, and that professional resistance to partnering with citizen journalism organizations undermines the profession’s credibility just as it reveals a disdain for democracy.

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                • Watson, Hayley. 2011. Preconditions for citizen journalism: A sociological assessment. Sociological Research Online 16.3.

                  DOI: 10.5153/sro.2417Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  Conceptually organizes the variety of citizen journalism into efforts of self-publication and efforts of publication via traditional news media. Identifies key preconditions as digital technology, a more active audience, a broader digital culture that embraces participation, and changes in newsroom organization.

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                  Journals

                  Due to its nature, the most directly relevant research appears in academic journals concerned with the study of journalism. One group of journals typically publish research that addresses immediate industry concerns, such as Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism Practice, and Newspaper Research Journal. A second group also focuses on journalism but from a more critical and theoretical bent, such as Journalism: Theory, Practice, Criticism, Journalism Studies, and Journal of Mass Media Ethics. Bridging this group with a third group is Digital Journalism, which focuses on the implications of digitization for the industry. The third major group consists of journals such as Convergence and New Media and Society, which place citizen journalism within research on new media technologies.

                  Formative Literatures

                  Scholarship on citizen journalism draws upon conceptual tools and arguments in a number of different interdisciplinary literatures.

                  Social Movement Media

                  Literatures of social movement media and related fields of alternative media and radical media highlight projects by which nonprofessionals use media for social change. Studies such as Atton 2002 and Downing, et al. 2001 link citizen journalism to labor media, reformist media, the underground press of the 1960s and the like, which together are seen to criticize and thus oppose corporatized, professionalized media production. Opel and Pompper 2003 and De Jong, et al. 2005 document a global range of actors and actions.

                  • Atton, Chris. 2002. Alternative Media. London: SAGE.

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                    Early influential effort to expand the traditional terrain of social movement media to include those not expressly political, such as personal ’zines, as well as to update specific case studies.

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                    • De Jong, Wilma, Martin Shaw, and Neil Stammers, eds. 2005. Global activism, global media. London: Pluto.

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                      International collection that further establishes the need to span many different academic disciplines in the study of social movement media. Addresses noninstitutionalized forms of political activity and their use of a wide variety of media, from traditional to digital. Contributions from activists who are generally more optimistic as well as established scholars who are generally more pessimistic.

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                      • Downing, John D. H., Tamara Villarreal Ford, Genève Gil, and Laura Stein. 2001. Radical media: Rebellious communication and social movements. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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                        Benchmark revision of an earlier book by a preeminent scholar in this area. Views radical media as generally small-scale efforts in a wide variety of forms (not just news) that “express an alternative vision to hegemonic policies, priorities, and perspectives” (p. v).

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                        • Opel, Andy, and Donnalyn Pompper, eds. 2003. Representing resistance: Media, civil disobedience, and the global justice movement. Westport, CT: Praeger.

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                          Important early collection that establishes the place and role of media activism in the global justice movement. Individual case studies document the narrow ways that globalization-conscious activism is represented in order to discount it and thus protect the status quo. They also explore media use of social movement groups to mobilize resistance.

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                          Cyberactivism

                          By the early 2000s and following the WTO protests in Seattle in 1999 and activists’ formation of digital self-publishing in the form of Independent Media Centers, scholars such as the authors of Platon and Deuze 2003 felt digital activism would be highly unlikely to affect traditional media organizations. Couldry and Curran 2003 is an important collection that links the predigital with the digital. Meikle 2002; Van de Donk, et al. 2004; Boler 2008; and Joyce 2010 address the range of specific tactics taken by digital social movements, with McCaughey 2014 and Atton 2004 addressing a broader range of everyday uses in popular culture such as fan culture and radio. By the late 2000s, growth of international case studies in areas politically more unsettled institutionally than liberal Western democracies, with the Arab Spring a key one, giving rise to additional efforts such as Howard 2011 to document and conceptualize cyberactivism as a distinct phenomenon.

                          • Atton, Chris. 2004. An alternative Internet. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press.

                            DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748617692.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                            Extends the argument in Atton 2002 (cited under Social Movement Media) about the need to recognize alternative media practice in all its forms, not just overtly political ones: Atton expresses the need to recognize such alternative outlets as musician fanzines, Internet radio, along with aesthetic issues of sampling and creativity.

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                            • Boler, Megan, ed. 2008. Digital media and democracy: Tactics in hard times. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                              Influential collection that views social movements as generalized social processes of resistance and challenge dispersed throughout popular culture. Regards tactics as contextual and specific uses of technology for critical ends.

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                              • Couldry, Nick, and James Curran, eds. 2003. Contesting media power: Alternative media in a networked world. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

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                                Wide-ranging collection that, while addressing predigital alternative media practice, uses its final section to address what it terms “new media spaces” enabled by digital technologies, arguing that digital media alter who can engage social change and at what scale.

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                                • Howard, Philip N. 2011. The digital origins of dictatorship and democracy: Information technology and political Islam. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                  Argues that digital media are necessary but not sufficient conditions for contemporary social change. Defines cyberactivism as online activity that advances a political cause more easily than would be the case offline. Goal is to “create intellectually and emotionally compelling digital artifacts that tell stories of injustice, interpret history, and advocate for particular political outcomes” (p. 145).

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                                  • Joyce, Mary, ed. 2010. Digital activism decoded; The new mechanics of change. New York: International Debate Education Association.

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                                    General, readable compilation that summarizes on-the-ground perspectives and knowledge about digital activism through the late 2000s. Argues that the best guide to action is to apply already existing strategies of nondigital media for activism to the use of digital media but to remain sensitive to the differences between nondigital and digital.

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                                    • McCaughey, Martha, ed. 2014. Cyberactivism on the participatory Web. New York: Routledge.

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                                      An update and extension of a 2003 collection. Broadens the range of attention from overt progressive political movements to a variety of efforts including citizen journalism. Seeks to investigate and assess the deeper implications of general public participation made possible by the Internet.

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                                      • Meikle, Graham. 2002. Future Active: Media activism and the Internet. New York: Routledge.

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                                        Traces in a series of case studies and interviews the dualities of the Internet as an activist medium following the WTO protests in Seattle in 1999. Concludes that the Internet is an additional tool for activists but not one that should be solely relied upon due to the ability to monitor and restrict its content.

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                                        • Platon, Sara, and Mark Deuze. 2003. Indymedia journalism: A radical way of making, selecting and sharing news? Journalism 4.3: 336–355.

                                          DOI: 10.1177/14648849030043005Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                          Early, influential study of Independent Media Centers. Concludes that the chances are slim of its open publishing model making any inroads in traditional, professional media organizations. The later emergence of blogs and their centrality for citizen journalism calls in to question this early preblog conclusion.

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                                          • Van de Donk, Wim, Brian D. Loader, Paul G. Nixon, and Dieter Rucht, eds. 2004. Cyberprotest: New media, citizens and social movements. New York: Routledge.

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                                            An early collection that connects the emergence of transnational global justice social movements to the emergence of digital information and communications technologies (ICTs), a field of extra-institutional political activity heretofore largely ignored by scholars of ICTs. Of particular interest is how the use of digital technologies shapes (and is shaped by) the way activist groups operate.

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                                            Public Journalism

                                            Public journalism (sometimes known as “civic journalism”) was a think-tank and industry effort in the 1990s to include communities more fully in editorial decisions about which issues to cover. Although it shares with citizen journalism an emphasis on greater public participation in journalism, it expressly limits public participation to offering input into general news agendas rather than becoming directly involved in reporting and writing. It thus maintains the professional status of journalism as a means of boosting relevance with readers and correcting a steady slide in readership and revenues.

                                            Normative Arguments

                                            Research regarding public journalism emerged first as a series of normative statements and commentaries, often supported by civic-minded philanthropic organizations. Rosen 1996 regards as crucial the need for news organizations to work more closely with their readers and community to determine the news agenda, which is a point Friedland 2003 illustrates by way of four case studies. Black 1997 and Merritt 1998 take issue with the degree to which the professional standard of objectivity prevents reporters from more fully engaging readers and recognizing ways that news might help solve social problems. Coleman 1997 traces the historical roots of the public journalism movement to calls for news organizations to be engaged social players rather than disconnected observers. Chapters in Eksterowicz and Roberts 2000 illustrate the boundaries placed on citizens’ roles in professional news organizations as simply advising on what news to cover, not on actually gathering that news, which is a point that Lambeth, et al. 1998 also makes by way of historical analysis. Glasser 1999 is the most authoritative collection regarding public journalism, with contributions focusing on the conflict created between maintaining professional standards and allowing greater nonprofessional input into covering news. Rosenberry and St. John 2010 explains the evolution from public journalism to citizen journalism is due largely to the emergence and spread of the Internet and initially of blogging (cited under Blogging).

                                            • Black, Jay, ed. 1997. Mixed news: The public/civic/communitarian journalism debate. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

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                                              Collection that views public journalism through the lens of media ethics, with the primary issue being whether and to what degree the professional requirement for journalists to be detached observers impairs their ability to improve the world they live in.

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                                              • Coleman, Renita. 1997. The intellectual antecedents of public journalism. Journal of Communication Inquiry 21:60–76.

                                                DOI: 10.1177/019685999702100103Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                Traces roots to the early-20th-century debate between John Dewey and Walter Lippmann regarding the composition and objective of the press. Also traces public journalism to the 1940s, the Hutchins Commission, and the emergence of the social responsibility theory of the press.

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                                                • Eksterowicz, Anthony J., and Robert N. Roberts, eds. 2000. Public journalism and political knowledge. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

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                                                  Collection of chapters by print and broadcast journalists as well as scholars. Views public journalism as what traditional newsrooms do to allow greater citizen input into news coverage.

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                                                  • Friedland, Lewis A. 2003. Public journalism past and future. Dayton, OH: Kettering Foundation.

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                                                    Examines from a general management perspective four case studies of public journalism by newspapers in medium-sized US cities in the 1990s. Concludes by proposing why and in what ways these four examples moved public journalism ahead. Sees promise in public journalism but also says it depends on deeper cooperation among all parties involved.

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                                                    • Glasser, Theodore, ed. 1999. The idea of public journalism. New York: Guilford.

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                                                      Authoritative collection of 1990s scholarly commentary about public journalism from major US scholars. Regards public journalism as a challenge to news industries to take seriously their role in a democratic polity to foster dependable knowledge and to enable public debate and functional civic community. Among the key issues addressed are how to be engaged in the political process and projects for change while retaining professional authority.

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                                                      • Lambeth, Edmund B., Philip E. Meyer, and Esther Thorsen, eds. 1998. Assessing public journalism. Columbia: Univ. of Missouri Press.

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                                                        Collection that traces lineage to John Dewey and that documents a series of early projects. Argues for public journalism as citizen input into news agendas but not direct reporting by nonprofessionals.

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                                                        • Merritt, Davis. 1998. Public journalism and public life: Why telling the news is not enough. 2d ed. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

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                                                          Argues that public journalism requires journalists to help citizens reengage in public life and to enable public deliberation on how best to address pressing public problems.

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                                                          • Rosen, Jay. 1996. Getting the connections right: Public journalism and the troubles of the press. New York: Twentieth Century Fund.

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                                                            Statement by a prominent advocate that views public journalism as an engaged mind-set and practice that journalists themselves need to embrace. Rosen’s solution to journalism’s lack of civic relevance is to for journalists to work more closely with readers and communities.

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                                                            • Rosenberry, Jack, and Burton St. John III, eds. 2010. Public journalism 2.0: The promise and reality of a citizen-engaged press. New York: Routledge.

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                                                              Summarizes the trajectory of public journalism from its optimistic early days to grounded criticisms and its extension via blogging into citizen journalism. Argues that citizen journalism needs to retain more of public journalism’s emphasis on professional collaboration (if not curation) in order for it to more fully deliver on the liberal role of journalism in a democracy.

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                                                              Critical Assessments

                                                              The early optimistic normative arguments in favor of public journalism were quickly countered by more moderate if not critical views. Gunaratne 1998 and Bardoel and d’Haenens 2004 reveal the narrowness of what had been largely a US-centric understanding of public journalism. Hardt 1997 and the special issue Javnost—The Public focus attention on the economic and historical conditions that drove public journalism in directions self-serving for media industries. While Williams and Delli Carpini 2000, and Nieman Reports 2005 argue that public journalism went too far, Haas 2007 argues that it did not go far enough.

                                                              • Bardoel, Jo, and Leen d’Haenens. 2004. Media meet the citizen: Beyond market mechanisms and government regulations. European Journal of Communication 19:165–194.

                                                                DOI: 10.1177/0267323104042909Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                An important international argument that views public journalism as a U.S.-centric expression of a larger global problem, which is how to organize a news organization outside of the residual Cold War choice between commercial system and state-run system.

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                                                                • Gunaratne, Shelton. 1998. Old Wine in a New Bottle: Public journalism, developmental journalism, and social responsibility. Communication Yearbook 21:277–322.

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                                                                  One of very few studies that casts public journalism in an international light. Develops the commonalities between public journalism and developmental journalism through reference to both their adherence to a social-responsibility theory of the press.

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                                                                  • Haas, Tanni. 2007. The pursuit of public journalism: Theory, practice, and criticism. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                    Documents the emergence, philosophies, and debates regarding public journalism. Concludes that public journalism helps news organizations connect better with their audiences but does much less to connect citizens with their governments—and, in that sense, has clear limits on its ability to democratize public life.

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                                                                    • Hardt, Hanno. 1997. The quest for public journalism. Journal of Communication 47.3: 94–101.

                                                                      DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.1997.tb02720.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      Review essay that places the emergence of public journalism in a context of sagging profit margins despite ever-increasing pressures for greater profitability. Argues that then-current works about public journalism make appeals at a pragmatic level without awareness of context and history.

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                                                                      • Nieman Reports. 2005. Citizen journalism. Cambridge, MA: Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.

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                                                                        Excellent cross-section of cases and commentary from scholars and practitioners. Positions citizen journalism as a partnership with industry rather than as an external critical practice. Focuses on how to organize partnerships between news organizations and their reading publics.

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                                                                        • Special issue: Journalism at the crossroads. Javnost—The Public 3 (1996).

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                                                                          Critical set of contributions that seeks to describe and analyze public journalism as a last gasp by news industries to simulate public participation while simultaneously retaining economic and institutional control of journalism.

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                                                                          • Williams, Bruce A., and Michael X. Delli Carpini. 2000. Unchained reaction: The collapse of media gatekeeping and the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. Journalism 1.1: 61–85.

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                                                                            Argues that extending news production outside of professional channels muddies news with entertainment, and fact with opinion, thus imperiling the value of journalism for a democratic society.

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                                                                            Media Convergence

                                                                            Studies of media convergence focus on the implication of the merging of previously separate institutions, media, and/or technologies. Castells 1996 and Dyer-Witheford 1999 are wide-ranging historical syntheses that seek to characterize epochal changes in society brought about by the introduction of digital information technologies, one of which is convergence. Deuze 2007 and Deuze 2008 argue that convergence enables a greater degree of individual choice and initiative, which is contrary to the preconvergence news audience that was limited to reading a handful of news outlets. Jenkins 2008 argues that convergence is only in part a technological process and is much more centrally the emergence of a participatory culture that has enabled us all to be our own media makers: this is a claim that Jenkins 2013 puts forward and has been misconstrued by his critics as a uniform, overoptimistic endorsement. Among the less-sanguine evaluations of media convergence is Maxwell and Miller 2011, which argues for greater attention paid to the exploitation of global labor in the making of digital devices that enable media convergence, as well as to the consequences of planned obsolescence by the consumer-electronics industries that produce mountains of toxic high-tech trash. Meikle and Young 2012 valuably tease out various dimensions of media convergence, including that of discrete forms such as news and videogames; discrete formations, such as public and private; and discrete approaches, such as objective and subjective. Influential claims concerning the rise of network society such as in Castells 1996 have given rise to more recent works such as Heinrich 2011, which makes epochal claims about an old, linear model of information delivery being replaced by the current recursive model of networked generation and exchange. Meikle and Redden 2011 illustrates the variety of ways that media convergence works globally on the production and consumption of news, providing evidence that the effects of media convergence on news are quite variable.

                                                                            • Castells, Manuel. 1996. The rise of the network society. Cambridge, UK: Blackwell.

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                                                                              Widely cited argument that addresses what it sees as the evolution of the information society into the network society, shaped by the structure of networks instead of actions taken within and through them. Network culture is prefigured in the structure of computer-mediated communication networks: despite efforts to regulate and privatize them, such networks and the emerging society are increasingly multifaceted, decentralized, and flexible (pp. 357–358).

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                                                                              • Deuze, Mark. 2007. Convergence culture in the creative industries. International Journal of Cultural Studies 10:243–263.

                                                                                DOI: 10.1177/1367877907076793Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                Foundational argument about the institutional changes in the wake of convergence and an increasingly participatory media culture.

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                                                                                • Deuze, Mark. 2008. The changing context of news work: Liquid journalism and monitorial citizenship. International Journal of Communication 2.

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                                                                                  Claims that liberal press theory of civic-minded publics informing themselves broadly has been replaced by that of citizen-consumers who are makers and users of their own news.

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                                                                                  • Dyer-Witheford, Nick. 1999. Cyber-Marx: Cycles and circuits of struggle in high-technology capitalism. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press.

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                                                                                    One of the first English-language historical-critical analyses of the potentials of information technologies for working-class empowerment that puts to use autonomist Marxism. Information technologies were first developed for military uses then transferred to systems of greater workplace control, then later used to diffuse work out from centralized factories to society at large, generating new sites of contestation and power.

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                                                                                    • Heinrich, Ansgard. 2011. Network journalism; Journalistic practice in interactive spheres. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                                      Study of broad societal changes and their impact on journalism texts, process, and industry structure. Argues that the primary features of network journalism are increased speed of newswork and its globalization.

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                                                                                      • Jenkins, Henry. 2008. Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. New York: New York Univ. Press.

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                                                                                        Influential argument asserting that new digital media will not replace older forms of media but that old and new forms will merge in unforeseen ways. Convergence is seen as not only a technological process but also a cultural and organizational one, as well as a top-down one driven by corporations but also driven from the bottom up by users and consumers.

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                                                                                        • Jenkins, Henry. 2013. Rethinking “rethinking convergence/culture.” Cultural Studies 28:267–297.

                                                                                          DOI: 10.1080/09502386.2013.801579Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          Article-length response to critics. Argues that any excessive emphasis on the empowerment of audiences was because of the need for counter-reigning overemphasis on their passivity. Suggests that his position is similar to that of critics and that he shares concerns about media institutions bending audience work to their own benefit.

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                                                                                          • Maxwell, Richard, and Toby Miller. 2011. Old, new, and middle-aged media convergence. Cultural Studies 25:585–703.

                                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/09502386.2011.600550Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            Historical, critical argument. Asserts that hopes for convergence to bring about increased efficiency, greater connectedness, and global interactivity are greatly exaggerated if not diametrically opposed to the reality. Argues for the need to recover awareness of coercive labor and ecological damage that supports it.

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                                                                                            • Meikle, Graham, and Guy Redden, eds. 2011. News online: Transformations and continuities. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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                                                                                              Collection of a range of evaluations by leading scholars. Views the shift into digital production and distribution as remapping the lines between professional and amateur, and as creating new kinds of cultural and political relations of participation.

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                                                                                              • Meikle, Graham, and Sherman Young. 2012. Media convergence: Networked digital media in everyday life. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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                                                                                                An exploration of everyday uses of networked digital media. Argues that the convergent media environment has done little to significantly challenge the power and size of media companies. Such organizations survive if not also thrive by experimenting with new ways of incorporating user-generated content such as citizen journalism in beneficial ways.

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                                                                                                Perspectives

                                                                                                Since the emergence of scholarship on citizen journalism in 2000s, three general scholarly interpretations have emerged in roughly chronological order, although they coexist in the early 21st century. First, what could be called a radical-democratic view regards citizen journalism as a criticism of professional exclusivity, and a challenge to its privilege and the resulting narrowness of news coverage. It traces citizen journalism to long-standing forms and traditions of activist and social movement media. A second interpretation, which could be called a “media-management” view, regards citizen journalism as an emerging stage of consumer empowerment needing to be accommodated and managed as part of the normal process of business innovation. It traces citizen journalism to broader trends in marketing as accelerated by digital technologies. A third interpretation takes what could be called a hybrid view, which emphasizes citizen journalism as a contentious field in which nonprofessional work both modifies and is modified by professionalized work.

                                                                                                Radical-Democratic Perspective

                                                                                                The initial set of studies of citizen journalism viewed it as a popular digital information insurgency that emerged outside and independent of professional news organizations. Gillmour 2004 is the earliest and most influential such statement, arguing that citizen journalism expresses a newfound agency for individual citizens to exert influence in the political sphere. Other scholarship focuses more on collective instead of individual action, such as Rodriguez 2001 seeing it as a type of citizens’ media, or Howley 2005 and Forde 2011 seeing it as a variant of community media. Still other studies such as Downing 2011 broaden communities further, regarding them as a variant of social movements. And Drew 2013 and Barlow 2007 (cited under Blogging) both take the position that citizen journalism is a recent expression of a long-standing need for publics to free themselves from the confines of corporate media.

                                                                                                • Downing, John D. H., ed. 2011. Encyclopedia of social movement media. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

                                                                                                  DOI: 10.4135/9781412979313Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  The authoritative compendium of capsule case studies from around the world, as well as brief presentations of key concepts and phenomena related to social movement media. Citizen journalism is seen as a subset of citizens’ media, which refers to a wide range of efforts by popular social movements to exert their influence.

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                                                                                                  • Drew, Jesse. 2013. A social history of contemporary democratic media. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                                                    Infers a definition of citizen journalism as newsgathering and distribution entirely outside professional media organizations. It is a historical commentary arguing that the challenges to centrally controlled media companies came from a combination of technological innovation pioneered by technology companies as well as recent artistic and activist interventions, culminating in the emergence of digital networks.

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                                                                                                    • Forde, Susan. 2011. Challenging the news: The journalism of alternative and community media. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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                                                                                                      Detailed study of cases and practices in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Although it can be practiced in many different kinds of news organizations from traditional to radical-democratic, alternative journalism is defined as that which encourages readers to participate, prioritizes news immediately relevant to its local audience, seeks to uncover what typically is not covered, and critiques news and its processes.

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                                                                                                      • Gillmour, Dan. 2004. We, the media: Grassroots journalism by the people, for the people. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly.

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                                                                                                        Cited widely as a foundational argument that defines citizen journalism as the liberatory powers of technologies wedded to grassroots news. Takes an individualist, libertarian view of political activity.

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                                                                                                        • Howley, Kevin. 2005. Community media: People, places, and communication technologies. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511489020Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          Theoretically sophisticated analysis of historical conditions, to which communities and community media are a response. Locates the impetus for community media in the consolidation and narrowing of commercial and state-owned media companies and systems

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                                                                                                          • Rodriguez, Clemencia. 2001. Fissures in the Mediascape; An International Study of Citizens’ Media. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton.

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                                                                                                            International participant study of variety of organizations and subaltern peoples who are structurally excluded from centers of decision making to challenge concentrations of power. Regards citizen journalism as a variation of citizen media. Focus is on Latin America.

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                                                                                                            Media-Management Perspective

                                                                                                            Parallel with the radical democratic view chronologically is what could be called a “media-management” view. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development 2007, Brock 2013, and the Project for Excellence in Journalism 2004–2013 regard citizen journalism as a challenge to the economic and institutional viability of professional media organizations but with the solution one of accommodation, integration, and mutual change. King 2010, Kovach and Rosenstiel 2010, McChesney 2013, and Patterson 2013 view this challenge as a threat that must be resisted because it undermines the role of journalism in a democratic society as a dependable source of information upon which to make informed decisions. Although not denying the scale of the challenge, Bowman and Willis 2003 views it as an opportunity to change journalism and as something that can be turned into an advantage via innovative management. If professionally managed, Anderson, et al. 2014 and Tewksbury and Rittenberg 2012 argue that citizen journalism can be an act of co-creation by news organizations and their readers to help news organizations expand coverage.

                                                                                                            • Anderson, Peter J., George Ogola, and Michael Williams, eds. 2014. The future of quality news journalism: A cross-continental analysis. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                                                              Locates citizen journalism within the broader problem of providing quality journalism in a rapidly changing media environment. Concludes that news organizations need to change to adapt to new social and economic demands and that these adaptations differ according to context.

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                                                                                                              • Bowman, Shayne, and Chris Willis. 2003. We media: How audiences are shaping the future of news and information. The Media Center, American Press Institute.

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                                                                                                                An early, wide-ranging report on citizen journalism directed at those in the news industries. Describes citizen journalism as only one variation of consumer-centered marketing. Urges professionalized news organizations to adopt a more consumer-centered openness in order to maintain if not also build audiences and markets.

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                                                                                                                • Brock, George. 2013. Out of print: Newspapers, journalism and the business of news in the digital age. London: Kogan Page.

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                                                                                                                  Account from a management point of view concerning the steady hemorrhaging of the commercial news business due to economic and technological change and what news organizations should do about it. Concludes with a defense of the traditional role of journalism as the arbiter and distributor of dependable facts.

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                                                                                                                  • King, Elliot. 2010. Free for all: The Internet’s transformation of journalism. Evanston, IL: Northwestern Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                    A technology-centered argument and historical case that places citizen journalism in a broader context of the development of computer-based communication and how news organizations have sought to use them. Concludes that the problems of credibility and veracity will continue to plague citizen journalism.

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                                                                                                                    • Kovach, Bill, and Tom Rosenstiel. 2010. Blur: How to know what’s true in the age of information overload. New York: Bloomsbury.

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                                                                                                                      Case by two veteran journalists documenting the deleterious effects of unmediated citizen journalism and deprofessionalization of newswriting on the veracity and authority of information. Concludes with a call to retain traditional professional journalistic values despite the changes taking place due in part to the rise of citizen journalism.

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                                                                                                                      • McChesney, Robert W. 2013. Digital disconnect: How capitalism is turning the Internet against democracy. New York: New Press.

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                                                                                                                        A wide-ranging argument by a prominent scholar in the field of critical political economy of the media. Critical of claims that citizen journalism today (defined as that which is unpaid) provides a viable means of democratic intelligence and debate. Argues that large-scale public investment in journalism nonprofit organizations is what is needed.

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                                                                                                                        • Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. 2007. Participative web and user-created content: Web. 2.0, wikis and social networking. Paris: OECD.

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                                                                                                                          Global study that describes the implications of the emerging digital environment for businesses and users. Concludes by calling for cooperation among business, users, and government to maximize benefits.

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                                                                                                                          • Patterson, Thomas E. 2013. Informing the news: The need for knowledge-based journalism. New York: Vintage.

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                                                                                                                            Strongly worded defense of professionalized journalism as the arbiter and validator of facts needed for intelligent political decision making.

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                                                                                                                            • Project for Excellence in Journalism. 2004–2013. State of the news media: An annual report on American journalism. New York: Pew Research Center.

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                                                                                                                              The best yearly resource regarding the economic health of US news industries, including the challenge of citizen journalism. The 2014 report notes among other developments the degree to which nontraditional news organizations such as BuzzFeed and Mashable are hiring experienced journalists and becoming more like traditional news organizations.

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                                                                                                                              • Tewksbury, David, and Jason Rittenberg. 2012. News on the Internet: Information and citizenship in the 21st century. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195391961.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                Usefully synthesizes a wide variety of literatures. Views digitization of journalism as both a means of extending professional delivery of news as well as for citizens to participate in news production and circulation.

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                                                                                                                                Hybridized Perspective

                                                                                                                                The most recently developed perspective represented by Atton and Hamilton 2008, Volkmer and Firdaus 2013, and Wall 2012 views citizen journalism as a facet of a broader, changing journalistic practice of great complexity. Thorsen and Allan 2014 documents how citizen journalism changes (and is changed by) its encounter with traditional journalism. In doing so, Kim and Hamilton 2006, Atton 2013, and Howley 2013 argue that assumptions of traditional journalism as conservative if not reactionary, citizen journalism as de facto progressive, and the implicit equivalence of commercial organization with traditional journalism must be questioned. Miladi 2011 and Xin 2010 recognize that citizen journalism does indeed challenge traditional news organizations but only to a certain extent. Robinson and DeShano 2011 argues that the distinctions between traditional and citizen journalism are no longer useful.

                                                                                                                                • Atton, Chris. 2013. Separate, supplementary or seamless? Alternative news and professional journalism. In Rethinking journalism trust and participation in a transformed news landscape. Edited by Chris Peters and Marcel Broersma, 131–143. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                  Examines how newer ways of practicing journalism are interacting with established forms. Concludes that the emergence of citizen journalism as assisted by professionalized media may be a fruitful location for alternative media practices.

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                                                                                                                                  • Atton, Chris, and James F. Hamilton. 2008. Alternative journalism. London: SAGE.

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                                                                                                                                    Widely cited book-length study of the emerging landscape of journalism. Regards citizen journalism as part of a wholesale but variable reformulation of journalistic practice in the wake of political challenges to traditional journalistic authority, economic challenges to traditional models of financing and support, and technological challenges due to digitization.

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                                                                                                                                    • Howley, Kevin, ed. 2013. Media interventions. New York: Peter Lang.

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                                                                                                                                      International collection of case studies of interrelationships between traditional media industries and services, and their often unintended use for progressive political purposes. Views hybridity for radical as well as conventional uses as an always present potential in any media organization.

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                                                                                                                                      • Kim, Eun-Gyoo, and James F. Hamilton. 2006. Capitulation to capital? OhmyNews as alternative media. Media, Culture and Society 28:541–560.

                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1177/0163443706065028Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        Provides a critical social history of Korean citizen news site OhmyNews as an outcome of the particular generational politics of Korea. Documents how it comprises a hybrid citizen-professional news organization in terms of funding as well as organization, thus illustrating that alternative media and mainstream media are not always mutually exclusive.

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                                                                                                                                        • Miladi, Noureddine. 2011. New media and the Arab revolution: Citizen reporters and social activism. Journal of Arab and Muslim Media Research 4:113–119.

                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1386/jammr.4.2-3.113_2Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          Commentary that places citizen journalism as part of the Arab Spring in political and institutional context. Views it as crucial in countering government perspectives and its justification for actions taken against protesters.

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                                                                                                                                          • Robinson, Sue, and Cathy DeShano. 2011. “Anyone can know”: Citizen journalism and the interpretive community of the mainstream press. Journalism 12:963–982.

                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1177/1464884911415973Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            Differences between the two groups result from distinct interpretive communities each constructed to justify their practice and relation with the other. Concludes that citizen journalism and professional journalism should be theorized together, since they are, for all intents and purposes, merged in practice.

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                                                                                                                                            • Thorsen, Einar, and Stuart Allan, eds. 2014. Citizen journalism: Global perspectives. Vol. 2. New York: Peter Lang.

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                                                                                                                                              To a greater degree than Allan and Thorsen 2009 (cited under General Overviews), the wide-ranging international case studies in this collection document the complex negotiations in labor and form between citizen journalists and professionalized news outlets.

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                                                                                                                                              • Volkmer, Ingrid, and Amira Firdaus. 2013. Between networks and “hierarchies of credibility”: Navigating journalistic practice in a sea of user-generated content. In Rethinking journalism trust and participation in a transformed news landscape. Edited by Chris Peters and Marcel Broersma, 101–113. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                                Important effort to reframe the debate from that of citizens versus professionals to one consisting of a decentralized networked ecology of news production in which national professional journalism merges with user-driven media platforms (including citizen journalism) in an “increasingly complex professional transnational space” (p. 101).

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                                                                                                                                                • Wall, Melissa, ed. 2012. Citizen journalism: Valuable, useless or dangerous? New York: International Debate Education Association.

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                                                                                                                                                  Well-focused and wide-ranging thematic anthology of previously published scholarly international case studies of citizen journalism. Regards citizen journalism as only one way that newswork is being reconfigured in the wake of digitization and globalization.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Xin, Xin. 2010. The impact of “citizen journalism” on Chinese media and society. Journalism Practice 4.3: 333–344.

                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/17512781003642931Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    An important pioneering study of a major non-Western country. Concludes that citizen journalism is a new professional outlet as well as a separate source for politically sensitive material, although not able to foment change on its own.

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                                                                                                                                                    Blogging

                                                                                                                                                    Initial research on blogging investigated the extent of its adoption and of bloggers’ motivations, little of which initially focused on citizen journalism. Kumar, et al. 2004 finds that the bloggers in particular age ranges typically share characteristic interests, none of which include journalism. Similarly, Lenhart and Fox 2006 finds blogging among adults to be focused primarily on their personal lives, with a much greater interest in reading news online than in attempting to produce and circulate journalism of their own. By contrast, Gillmour 2004 (cited under Radical-Democratic Perspective) advocates the use of blogs for citizen journalism as a grassroots challenge to the exclusivity of corporate news production. Similarly, both Deuze 2006 and Nip 2006 note the central role of blogs as deepening the public involvement in journalism compared to public journalism. The emerging debate about blogging paralleled broader debates about the value of citizen journalism (discussed in Perspectives). By connecting blogging to earlier forms and examples of civic publication, Barlow 2007 claims that blogging fulfills the long-standing promise of a polity informed by its citizens. By contrast, Perlmutter and McDaniel 2005 and Sunstein 2007 argue that increased public participation in journalism is more of a problem than a solution, because the lack of institutional editing and fact-checking prevents blogs from validating their information, thus limiting their ability to substitute for professional news coverage. Recent research examines and documents the variety of specific uses of blogs by citizen journalists. Bruns 2005 suggests that the predominant activity of citizen-journalism blogs is not so much original reporting as the selection, recirculation, and evaluation of the output of traditional news organizations. Similarly, chapters in Tremayne 2007 present a variety of case studies that characterize more precisely citizen-journalism blogs along dimensions defined by degree of citizen authorship and intention. Examples provided in Rettberg 2014 suggest how the debate about truthfulness of citizen-journalism blogs downplays the fact that they only continue to grow, despite this debate. Bruns 2008 argues that citizen blogging is only one facet of the much broader emergence of what he calls “produsage” as a new form of media work in which production and usage are combined.

                                                                                                                                                    • Barlow, Aaron. 2007. The rise of the blogosphere. Westport, CT: Praeger.

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                                                                                                                                                      Historical commentary that locates the emergence of blogs as the latest stage in the history of journalism as the effort to free itself from the narrow bounds of corporate interests. Argues that blogs revive a model of journalism that existed in the United States in the early 18th century. Average citizens as amateurs have renewed their place as important contributors to public debate.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Bruns, Axel. 2005. Gatewatching: Collaborative online news production. New York: Peter Lang.

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                                                                                                                                                        Argues that an evolving role of the public enabled by the Internet is to continuously monitor and prioritize the value of relevant content wherever it is produced, thus eliminating the need for professional journalism as an arbiter and definer of valid, authoritative information.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Bruns, Axel. 2008. Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and beyond: From production to produsage. New York: Peter Lang.

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                                                                                                                                                          Argues that the rise of blogs is only one example of the broader trend toward “produsage,” which describes the merging of production and usage. Where chapter 4 builds upon earlier work that sees blogs’ place in citizen journalism as that of gatewatching and collaborative reporting, chapter 10 addresses the implications for traditionally organized media industries.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Deuze, Mark. 2006. Participation, remediation, bricolage: Considering principal components of a digital culture. Information Society 22.2: 63–75.

                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/01972240600567170Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            Views audience blogging as driven by discontent with traditional news. This study focuses on the blogging subgenre of journalistic weblogs, which interfaces with journalism.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Kumar, Ravi, Jasmine Novak, Prabhakar Raghavan, and Andrew Tomkins. 2004. Structure and evolution of blogspace. Communications of the ACM 47.12: 35–39.

                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1145/1035134.1035162Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              A study of the profile pages of 1.3 million bloggers. Notes that most bloggers live in the United States and Canada, three of four are teens or young adults, and journalism is not prominent enough to be listed as a representative interest.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Lenhart, Amanda, and Susannah Fox. 2006. Bloggers: A portrait of the Internet’s new storytellers. Washington, DC: PEW Internet.

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                                                                                                                                                                Telephone survey of nationally representative sample of bloggers in the United States. Suggests that blogging is a marginal experience for adults. Only 8 percent of Internet users, totaling about 12 million adults, have a blog, and the most popular topic to blog about (37 percent) is one’s life and experiences. While only one-third see blogging as a form of journalism, three of four seek news online.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Nip, Joyce Y. M. 2006. Exploring the second phase of public journalism. Journalism Studies 7.2: 212–236.

                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/14616700500533528Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  An oft-cited account that establishes the line between citizen journalism and professional newsgathering as defined by the use of blogging. What citizen journalism lacks by comparison to public journalism is the latter’s emphasis on dialogue and deliberation. What citizen journalism needs is a greater ability to overlap online participation with offline participation.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Perlmutter, David D., and Misti McDaniel. 2005. The ascent of blogging. Nieman Report 59.3: 60–64.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Retrospective analysis on the rise of blogging and how traditional news organizations were trying to adapt to this practice to gain an advantage. Recommends that they should first analyze what blogs do well as a basis for informed decisions on how best to respond to them. Nevertheless, the authors recommend that traditional professional news values should never be relinquished to accommodate the rise of blogs.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Rettberg, Jill Walker. 2014. Blogging. 2d ed. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Succinct, readable conceptual and historical overview. Chapter 4 discusses the interrelationships between blogging and journalism. Good summary of legal implications in the United States. Argues that whether all blogs are journalism is beside the point; many do not presume to follow the canons of professional objectivity in the first place. What is unequivocal is how blogging as a form of digital participatory culture is remaking the journalistic enterprise.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Sunstein, Cass R. 2007. Republic.com 2.0; Revenge of the blogs. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Wide-ranging commentary by prominent legal scholar. Argues that although blogs extend the range of views on any one topic, they much less often allow for information exchange that enables better validation of truthfulness or worth; the author also believes that blogs encourage the public to seek and read only what it already agrees with.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Tremayne, Mark, ed. 2007. Blogging, citizenship, and the future of media. London: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Collection of a variety of studies on political blogs’ content and use. One prominent role is to select certain news items for recirculation to its readers. Another is to circumvent traditional media organizations entirely and present original reporting or commentary. Suggests by way of conclusion a number of ways traditional media organizations are beneficially incorporating blogging.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Motivations

                                                                                                                                                                          Early studies document citizen journalism as a low priority for most bloggers. Nardi, et al. 2004 is an ethnography of blogging by twenty-three ordinary bloggers writing for small audiences, concluding that blogs are much more commonly used for personal expression than for public news reporting. Huang, et al. 2007 elaborates on Nardi, et al. 2004 by proposing that many motivations are relevant simultaneously. Bergström 2008 goes even further by arguing that even bloggers who participate in digital news organizations rarely do their own reporting, preferring instead to read others’ accounts. Robinson and Deshano 2011 identifies affective motivations rather than civic ones as crucial for citizen journalists.

                                                                                                                                                                          • Bergström, Annika. 2008. The reluctant audience: Online participation in the Swedish journalistic context. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 5.2: 60–80.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Finds relatively little public interest in creating content for news sites. Those who do participate see it largely as a leisure activity rather than as one contributing to democratic life.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Huang, Chun-Yao, Yong-Zheng Shen, Hong-Xiang Lin, and Shin-Shin Chang. 2007. Bloggers’ motivations and behaviors: A model. Journal of Advertising Research 47.4: 472–484.

                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.2501/S0021849907070493Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              Address links between motivation and behavior. Finds that behavior of social interaction driven by motivations of self-expression, life documenting, and commenting. Behavior of content gathering driven by motivations of commenting, forum participating, and information seeking.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Nardi, Bonnie A., Diane J. Schiano, Michelle Gumbrecht, and Luke Swartz. 2004. Why we blog. Communications of the ACM 47.12: 41–46.

                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1145/1035134.1035163Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                Initial descriptive effort based on responses to in-depth interviews in order to further understand the motivations of bloggers. The vast majority of these are written by “ordinary people” for small and most likely personal audiences. Five major motivations were documenting one’s life, offering commentary and opinion, expressing emotions, articulating ideas, and participating in community forums.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Robinson, Sue, and Cathy Deshano. 2011. Citizen journalists and their third places. Journalism Studies 12:642–657.

                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/1461670X.2011.557559Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  Investigates feelings of affinity common to a particular kind of intimate community gathering place. Although some indeed felt this, others were disoriented by the disjunction between offline and online and thus did not participate.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Blogs and News Production

                                                                                                                                                                                  One key area of scholarly attention concerns the variety of ways blogs come to be used by and within news organizations. Matheson 2004 and Lowrey 2006 examine the degrees of stylistic coincidence in newswriting between blogs and professionally produced news, while Domingo and Heinonen 2008 studies the range of institutional roles. The ultimate nature of this relation remains debated, with positions ranging from Mohamed 2011, which claims citizen journalism bloggers oppose traditional news organizations, to Kperogi 2011, which documents how CNN incorporates citizen journalism. Singer 2005 finds that even bloggers who are independent of traditional news organizations nevertheless replicate traditional professionalized story norms.

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Domingo, David, and Ari Heinonen. 2008. Weblogs and journalism: A typology to explain blurring boundaries. Nordicom Review 29.1: 3–15.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Not all blogs aspire to journalism, but those that do challenge professional standards and exclusivity of ownership and practice. They exist in variable relation to professional news organizations, from being produced by the public entirely separate from media companies to blogs curated by professional news organizations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Kperogi, Farooq. 2011. Cooperation with the corporation? CNN and the hegemonic cooptation of citizen journalism through iReport.com. New Media and Society 13:314–329.

                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1177/1461444810373530Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      Addresses Cable News Network’s use of user-generated news via its curated service iReport. Concludes that the function of iReport is to expand news coverage and boost value for little added expense.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lowrey, Wilson. 2006. Mapping the journalism-blogging relationship. Journalism 7.4: 477–500.

                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1177/1464884906068363Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                        Concludes that the organization and practice of traditional journalism and the blogging of citizen journalists overlaps in key ways. Where traditional journalism seeks to maintain its long-standing practices, this effort prevents it from expanding into competing areas now occupied by blogging citizen journalists.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Matheson, Donald. 2004. Weblogs and the epistemology of the news: Some trends in online journalism. New Media and Society 6.4: 443–468.

                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1177/146144804044329Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          Addresses changes in definitions of news and claims to knowledge and truth brought about by the emergence of blogging citizen journalists. Describes ways that the relation between professional journalism and its users is remapped into a more dialogical, active form.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Mohamed, Ali Sayed. 2011. On the road to democracy: Egyptian bloggers and the Internet 2010. Journal of Arab and Muslim Media Research 4.2–3: 253–272.

                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1386/jammr.4.2-3.253_1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            Analysis of interviews with bloggers, human-rights activists and journalists in Egypt in 2009. Helping reform traditional journalism, which is tightly controlled in this case. Also to critique the political order and mobilize public opinion against the regime.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Singer, Jane B. 2005. The political j-Blogger: “Normalizing” a new media form to fit old norms and practices. Journalism 6.2: 173–198.

                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1177/1464884905051009Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                              Explores the degree to which political-journalism bloggers seek to replicate professional journalism standards and routines. Concludes that most write their blogs in ways consistent with traditional journalism, fulfilling a gatekeeping role as information providers despite the ability of blogs to engage in dialogue.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Blogs and Political Journalism

                                                                                                                                                                                              An influential stream of research traces how bloggers as nonprofessionals come to be, in the case of political communication, sometimes more influential than traditional journalism. A difference of opinion exists between scholars who see blogs as distinct from professional journalism and thus rivaling it and those who see the two as merged in key ways and thus not in conflict. On one hand, Carlson 2007 argues that blogs are distinct as well as faulty due to the lack of traditional journalistic fact checking. Trammell and Keshelashvili 2005 argues that what sets blogs apart from traditional news reporting is that they contain much more information about the writer. On the other hand, Farrell and Drezner 2008 argues that no clear dividing line exists between bloggers and journalists, as many of the most influential blogs are those written by journalists. Perlmutter 2008 and Lawson-Borders and Kirk 2005 agree, arguing that blogs are used for a variety of purposes, only one of which is citizen journalism. Graves 2007 points out that blogs and news refer to and rely on each other. Park 2009 points out that bloggers and journalists are related in their opposition to each other, in the sense that bloggers are connected to journalists through their mutual criticism of each other.

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Carlson, Matt. 2007. Blogs and journalistic authority: The role of blogs in U.S. election day 2004 coverage. Journalism Studies 8.2: 264–279.

                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1080/14616700601148861Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                Examines the many different positions and roles of blogs in the political-information process. Professional news organizations used some blogs’ decision to post results of faulty exit polls as evidence of blogs’ failure to provide dependable information, thus bolstering the status and authority of traditional journalism.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Farrell, Henry, and Daniel W. Drezner. 2008. The power and politics of blogs. Public Choice 134:15–30.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1007/s11127-007-9198-1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Although blogs as a whole have far fewer readers than traditional news outlets, they exert an influence far greater than readership size would suggest. A handful of prominent blogs garner the majority of readers, many of whom are journalists. They operate both as sources as well as guides to allocating attention and reporting budgets.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Graves, Lucas. 2007. The affordances of blogging: A case study in culture and technological effects. Journal of Communication Inquiry 31.4: 331–346.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1177/0196859907305446Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Takes a cultural, interactionist view regarding news blogs. Describes many instances in which news blogs and traditional journalism overlap and rely on each other. Suggests that blogs have the freedom to post varieties of accounts, debates regarding which contribute to the emergence of the most authoritative account.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Lawson-Borders, Gracie, and Rita Kirk. 2005. Blogs in campaign communication. American Behavioral Scientist 49.4: 548–559.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1177/0002764205279425Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Addresses the emergent use of blogs in the 2004 US presidential election. Suggests a variety of forms and uses of political blogs, from a social diary to an organizing tool and citizen journalism. Concludes that political blogs will continue to exert influence in the political process.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Park, David W. 2009. Blogging with authority: Strategic positioning in political blogs. International Journal of Communication 3:250–273.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        Studies mentions of bloggers in mainstream news media. Concludes that they derive their authority not by mimicking professional journalism, but largely by their opposing of mainstream journalism while highlighting their own antiprofessionalism.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Perlmutter, David D. 2008. Blogwars. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Addresses the emergence and forms of political blogging as a merger of opinion and commentary, journalism, and online activism. Notes the contradiction in their use between promoting particular candidates and causes, and assisting reasoned debate and discussion.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Trammell, Kaye D., and Ana Keshelashvili. 2005. Examining the new influencers: A self-presentation study of A-list blogs. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly 82.4: 968–982.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1177/107769900508200413Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Content analysis of the most-linked-to blogs. Suggests that what makes such blogs popular and thus influential is that they establish trust and credibility by including a significant amount of self-identification and disclosure.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Other Technologies

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Following the emergence of blogging and its use by citizen journalists, additional technologies have emerged as valuable as well. Studies of citizen journalism and these technologies generally conclude that all are subject to the same kinds of institutional pressures and relations as blogging is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Social Media and Spot News

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Scholars argue that generally the specific kind of digital medium used affects the practice of citizen journalism. Akoh and Ahiabenu 2012 portrays a relatively broad range of citizen journalistic forms enabled by digital media, and Papacharissi and de Fatima Oliveira 2012 suggests that the forms of use become in practice so diverse as to be impossible to categorize. Other scholars suggest that the range is more directly determined. Khamis and Vaughn 2011 argues that different social media are used in different ways in conjunction with reporting done by citizen journalists involved in social movements. Allan 2013 takes a position shared by many that first-person accounts and recordings of breaking-news events are the most commonly accepted citizen journalism products used by professional journalism organizations. In a similar claim, Murthy 2011 suggests the value to professional news of citizen tweets for breaking-news accounts. Soo Jung and Hadley 2014 found that television journalism uses citizen journalist contributions from digital media differently than print journalism.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Akoh, Ben, and Kwami Ahiabenu II. 2012. A journey through 10 countries. Journalism Practice 6.3: 349–365.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/17512786.2012.663598Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                              A study of the multiple uses of social media in the context of national elections in a selection of African countries. Citizen journalists in ten African countries used multiple social media during elections to distribute original accounts, as well as to aggregate content from political parties and other political institutions and organizations. On occasion they also provided breaking news and set the news agenda for traditional news services.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Allan, Stuart. 2013. Citizen witnessing: Revisioning journalism in times of crisis. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Focuses on the growing importance for professional news organizations of nonprofessionals recording and observing events. With digital networked technologies, citizen journalists have become useful if not central in relaying breaking news of significant, unforeseen events, which underpins the discursive yet paradoxical authority of firsthand reporting.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Khamis, Sahar, and Katherine Vaughn. 2011. “We are all Khaled Said”: The potentials and limitations of cyberactivism in triggering public mobilization and promoting political change. Journal of Arab and Muslim Media Research 4.2–3: 145–163.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1386/jammr.4.2-3.145_1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Examines the contradictory uses of social media in the Arab Spring protests. In the prerevolutionary phase, Facebook was used to increase awareness and create motivation by circulating news, pictures, and videos that documented police brutality and government corruption.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Murthy, Dhiraj. 2011. Twitter: Microphone for the masses? Media, Culture and Society 33.5: 779–789.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1177/0163443711404744Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Examines Twitter as a form of journalism. Concludes that what best describes Twitter is ordinary people writing news that is read by other ordinary people. However, Murthy also suggests that breaking-news stories posted on Twitter simply alert readers to events that they later follow in much more detail in traditional news media.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Papacharissi, Zizi, and Maria de Fatima Oliveira. 2012. Affective news and networked publics: The rhythms of news storytelling on #Egypt. Journal of Communication 62.2: 266–282.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.2012.01630.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Examines patterns of Twitter postings before and after the removal of Hosni Mubarak from power. Identifies for Twitter a key role in breaking news, particularly political upheavals and natural disasters, as well as in mobilization and coordination of activism. Its use combines news, opinion, and emotion to the point that each is hard to distinguish from the other.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Soo Jung, Moon, and Patrick Hadley. 2014. Routinizing a new technology in the newsroom: Twitter as a news source in mainstream media. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media 58.2: 289–305.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/08838151.2014.906435Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Addresses the use of Twitter in news media. Finds that it is a key component in many newsrooms. Journalists use Twitter as an early-warning alert system to emerging news stories. Television news used Twitter more heavily as sole or primary source than print. And both used Twitter more frequently in soft news than hard news. Although newspapers used it for soft news, television used it for serious hard news concerning politics, economy, crime, and disaster.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Smart Phones and Images

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Scholarly attention turned as well to citizen journalists’ use of camera-equipped smart phones with their capability to send images directly and immediately from events. Verclas and Mechael 2008 is an early effort to catalogue different uses and cases, building upon earlier work such as Allan 2006 (cited under General Overviews) and Robinson 2009 regarding the general form of witnessing. Andén-Papadopoulos and Pantti 2011 is a wide-ranging collection of such work. Where Hänska-Ahy and Shapour 2013 documents how traditional news organizations make use of user-generated images, Andersen 2012 finds that citizen-gathered images were more credible for professional journalism use than citizen-gathered verbal accounts. How and why activists as well as news organizations find images so compelling is continuing to be explored in Andén-Papadopoulos and Pantti 2013, Andén-Papadopoulos 2013, and Andén-Papadopoulos 2014.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Andén-Papadopoulos, Kari. 2013. Media witnessing and the “crowd-sourced video revolution.” Visual Communication 12.3: 341–357.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1177/1470357213483055Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Focuses on mobile phone footage of Gaddafi’s death in the context of Swedish television news and its audiences. Addresses how the nature of “media witnessing” is being transformed through the employment of user-generated footage. Even though citizen video encodes an extraordinary sense of presence and participation, it gains its moral credibility as a document of scenes of suffering and violence through its distancing of the spectator from the act being witnessed.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Andersen, Rune. 2012. Remediating #IRANELECTION. Journalism Practice 6:317–336.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/17512786.2012.663593Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Analyzes the use of user-gathered images and verbal accounts from two Danish newspapers regarding the crackdown on pro-democracy activists following the Iranian election of 2009. Newspapers categorized user contributions as illustrations, rumor, news source, or reportage, each of which positioned the accuracy and credibility of the user account differently. User-generated images were positioned as more accurate and credible than user-generated verbal accounts.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Andén-Papadopoulos, Kari. 2014. Citizen camera-witnessing: Embodied political dissent in the age of “mediated mass self-communication.” New Media and Society 16.5: 753–769.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1177/1461444813489863Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Examines the ways in which user-generated images require us to rethink what it is to bear witness to brutality in the age of fundamentally camera-mediated mass self-publication. Argues that the camera phone permits entirely new performative rituals of bearing witness, such as dissenting bodies en masse recording their own repression and, via wireless global communication networks, effectively mobilizing this footage as graphic testimony in a bid to produce feelings of political solidarity.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Andén-Papadopoulos, Kari, and Mervi Pantti, eds. 2011. Amateur images and global news. Bristol, UK: Intellect.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Unique collection of international and historical case studies that focuses on firsthand visual recordings instead of verbal accounts of events by nonprofessionals. Argues that the ways in which the varied form and use of amateur images of events by news organizations highlights problems of authentication and professionalization.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Andén-Papadopoulos, Kari, and Mervi Pantti. 2013. Re-imagining crisis reporting: Professional ideology of journalists and citizen eyewitness images. Journalism 14.7: 960–977.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1177/1464884913479055Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Based on interviews with journalists representing major news organizations in Finland and Sweden. Citizen-created photographs and videos have become a routine feature of mainstream news coverage and a potential force of change that transforms professional imaginaries of journalism that addresses crisis events.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hänska-Ahy, Maximillian T., and Roxanna Shapour. 2013. Who’s reporting the protests? Converging practices of citizen journalists and two BBC World Service newsrooms, from Iran’s election protests to the Arab uprisings. Journalism Studies 14.1: 29–45.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/1461670X.2012.657908Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Examines traditional news media’s use of user-generated materials regarding social protests during the Iran election of 2009 and the Arab Spring of 2011. Finds that the BBC’s Persian and Arabic news services used such materials heavily in their own news coverage. Concludes that user content was more likely to be used in traditional news programs the more it exemplified traditional news techniques and forms.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Robinson, Sue. 2009. “If you had been with us”: Mainstream press and citizen journalists jockey for authority over the collective memory of Hurricane Katrina. New Media and Society 11:795–814.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1177/1461444809105353Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In the case of coverage of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, citizen journalists’ accounts became the authoritative ones due to their reliance on personal experience: professional journalists then relied upon these personal accounts.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Verclas, Katrin, and Patricia Mechael. 2008. A mobile voice: The use of mobile phones in citizen media. Washington, DC: United States Agency for International Development.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lengthy descriptive report on citizen journalists’ use of mobile phones. The lack of technical standards has created a fragmented technology, which is the primary hurdle to overcome before widely social uses can emerge. Nevertheless, the report views such uses as disruptive and challenging to traditional news organizations. Recommends development of partnerships with NGOs and philanthropies to boost the pace of development.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Industry Structure

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Studies of industry structure address the viability of existing ways that news industries support themselves. Lacy, et al. 2010 examines market competition. Compton and Benedetti 2010 addresses the impact of increased citizen journalism on levels of newsroom staffing, while Franklin and Carlson 2011 and McNair 2013 examine its impact on the credibility of traditional news organizations. Picard 2014 focuses more broadly on the evolution of new varieties of industry relationships.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Compton, James R., and Paul Benedetti. 2010. Labour, new media and the institutional restructuring of journalism. Journalism Studies 11.4: 487–499.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1080/14616701003638350Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Addresses the steady downsizing of news staffs around the world and asserts that the accelerating pace of news production combined with narrowing profit margins has lead to these changes. Concludes that citizen journalism has not and will not compensate for shrinking professional news staffs.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Franklin, Bob, and Matt Carlson, eds. 2011. Journalists, sources and credibility: New perspectives. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Collection that focuses on the role of sources in newswork as well as textually establishing credibility, and how such issues are reconfigured by citizen journalism. Concludes that members of the public continue to be regarded as less-credible sources and that clear limits continue to be placed on public participation in traditional news organizations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Lacy, Stephen, Margaret Duffy, Daniel Riffe, Esther Thorson, and Ken Fleming. 2010. Citizen journalism web sites complement newspapers. Newspaper Research Journal 31.2: 34–46.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Content analysis of scores of citizen blog sites, citizen journalism sites and newspaper sites in the United States. Concludes that citizen journalism sites complement rather than replace existing professional news sites by providing hyperlocal content and more varieties of opinion.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • McNair, Brian. 2013. Trust, truth and objectivity: Sustaining quality journalism in the era of the content-generating user. In Rethinking journalism trust and participation in a transformed news landscape. Edited by Chris Peters and Marcel Broersma, 75–88. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Turns the tables on arguments that equate quality journalism with the perpetuation of its professionalization. It places responsibility for quality journalism on audiences and their capacity for critical thinking rather than on restricting journalism to a professional elite.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Picard, Robert G. 2014. Twilight or new dawn of journalism? Journalism Studies 15.5: 500–510.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/1461670X.2014.895530Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Synoptic, interpretive essay by prominent media economist. Argues that the key effect of the economic changes undergone by news media has been on routines of news production. The author claims that an industrial mode of production is steadily being eroded to be replaced not only by a service mode that emphasizes media companies as cross-platform distributors and curators of others’ content but also a craft mode in which news is produced by individual entrepreneurs and small-scale cooperatives that provide content directly to readers.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Work Routines

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The study of work routines addresses the intentions informing professional journalists’ use of citizen journalism, which in turn determines organizational structure, which is an argument about their interaction that is most clearly made in Paulussen and Ugille 2008. Where Singer, et al. 2011 is the broadest international study of how professional journalism uses citizen journalism by partitioning it from the rest of the newsroom, Williams, et al. 2011 is a valuable corresponding study based in what is typically regarded as the world’s preeminent news organization of the BBC. One group of studies places most emphasis on the ideology of professionalism as an explanatory factor. Examples include Cook and Dickinson 2013, which suggests that citizen journalism is seen as inferior to professional news due to not abiding by conventional news style. A second group highlights how workplace practices render citizen journalism palatable for professional use. Hermida and Thurman 2008 discusses how citizen journalism contributions are subjected to professional editing in order to be used. Reich 2008 notes the even less-subjective factors of amount of time available for reporting and availability of sources as key routinized conditions that explain the differences between professional and citizen journalism. Thurman 2008 similarly emphasizes the difficulty with which citizen journalism meets legal publishing requirements as a key reason for its slow pick-up in professional newsrooms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cook, Clare, and Andrew Dickinson. 2013. UK social media, citizen journalism and alternative news. In The future of quality news journalism: A cross-continental analysis. Edited by Peter J. Anderson, George Ogola, and Michael Williams, 202–223. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Incisively analyzes the key sticking point between professional and citizen journalism, which is contrasting ideas about what news quality is and how to achieve it.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Hermida, A., and N. Thurman. 2008. A clash of cultures: The integration of user-generated content within professional journalistic frameworks at British newspaper websites. Journalism Practice 2.3: 343–356.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1080/17512780802054538Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Examines how and to what degree national UK newspapers are incorporating user-generated content. Although there has been a dramatic increase in the opportunities for user content to appear in newspapers, a corresponding trend is toward increased use of moderation as a gatekeeping role to shape user contributions.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Paulussen, Steve, and Pieter Ugille. 2008. User generated content in the newsroom: Professional and organisational constraints on participatory journalism. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 5.2: 24–41.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Examines both the increasing spread of citizen journalism as well as ways in which this spread is hindered by resistance from traditional news organizations. The author emphasizes this slow diffusion is due to organizational barriers such as newsroom structures, work routines, and professional beliefs.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Reich, Zvi. 2008. How citizens create news stories. Journalism Studies 9:739–758.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1080/14616700802207748Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Locates a key reason for differences in citizen journalism and traditional journalism in material circumstances. Concludes that citizen journalists use different routines than professional journalists due to much more limited time and more limited access to sources.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Singer, Jane B., Alfred Hermida, David Domingo, et al. 2011. Participatory journalism: guarding open gates at online newspapers. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1002/9781444340747Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Draws upon sixty-seven in-depth interviews of personnel at prominent national news organizations in ten Western democracies. Focuses on how and to what degree newsrooms are adjusting to having nonprofessionals participate in producing and distributing news, either outside of or as part of established news organizations. Concludes that news organizations in general place clear limits on the extent to which the public might co-create news.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Thurman, Neil. 2008. Forums for citizen journalists? Adoption of user generated content initiatives by online news media. New Media and Society 10:139–157.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1177/1461444807085325Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Examines reasons for sluggish adoption of citizen journalism by traditional news organizations. Highlights the importance of organizational factors for explaining the slow rate of adoption, such as the difficulty with which citizen journalism meets professional legal and commercial obligations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Williams, Andrew, Claire Wardle, and Karin Wahl-Jorgensen. 2011. Have they got news for us? Journalism Practice 5:85–99.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1080/17512781003670031Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In-depth observation and interviews of employees at the BBC. Concludes that user-generated content does not challenge or upset existing journalistic routines. It is easily incorporated as a source for professionals to weigh and consider in the normal course of editing and reporting.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ethics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Closely aligned with issues of credibility are issues of ethics in the form of trust between readers and journalists and the professional responsibility of fulfilling this charge. Singer and Ashman 2009 and Roberts and Steiner 2012 focus more narrowly on the ethical reasoning of journalism professionals in relation to citizen journalism. Babcock 2012 and Ess 2014 focus more broadly on a variety of media used for citizen journalism.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Babcock, William A., ed. 2012. Media accountability: Who will watch the watchdog in the Twitter age? London: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Traditional ethical responsibilities between well-established realms of audience and professional, news and entertainment, and between comment, fact, and criticism are becoming outmoded by the emerging digital environment. Although calls for their preservation ignore the changes that have happened, new ethical guidelines are sorely needed to reform the traditional place of journalism in a democratic society.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ess, Charles. 2014. Digital media ethics. 2d ed. Malden, MA: Polity.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chapter 4 discusses citizen journalism directly. Argues for the need to retain the ethical responsibilities for journalism in terms of fostering public debate and discussion, itself deriving from liberal press theory. Concludes that the task for citizen journalism is to figure out how to meet these ethical responsibilities.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Roberts, Jessica, and Linda Steiner. 2012. Ethics of citizen journalism sites. In Digital ethics: Research and practice. Edited by Don Heider and Adrienne L. Massanari, 80–98. New York: Peter Lang.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Survey of thirty-four citizen journalism sites and to what degree they made clear the ethical responsibilities of users of these sites. Found that few if any took ethics seriously, whether traditional news organizations or sites maintained by individual citizens. Unwanted behavior is emphasized rather than affirmative responsibilities. Few linked to materials for further reading.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Singer, Jane B., and Ian Ashman. 2009. “Comment is free, but facts are sacred”: User-generated content and ethical constructs at The Guardian. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 24:3–21.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/08900520802644345Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Concludes that editors oppose citizen journalism in any form other than reader feedback and opinion in order to uphold standards of journalistic professionalism.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Politics and Participation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Because of the fundamental role of journalism in democratic society as suggested by liberal press theory, much scholarship addresses what effect if any citizen journalism has on political participation. Such work is comparative, if only implicitly, in order to judge whether citizen journalism improves upon or is less effective than traditional journalism. Scholarship takes a number of positions defined by the answer to this question. Fenton 2010 and Ratto and Boler 2014 seek to establish key changes while acknowledging the openness and complexity of the situation. Work such as Bakker and Paterson 2011, El-Nawawy and Khamis 2013, Papacharissi 2009, and Romano 2010 concludes that citizen journalism has an overall positive role to play, although perhaps requiring additional development and refinement. On the other hand, work such as Kaufhold, et al. 2010 and Williams and Carpini 2011 conclude that traditional journalism at least holds its own and that citizen journalism would do well to more closely emulate some of its qualities. Tunney and Monaghan 2010 valuably treats citizen journalism in relation to citizenship, suggesting that only in this relationship can the efficacy of citizen journalism be adequately assessed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bakker, Tom, and Chris Paterson. 2011. The new frontiers of journalism: Citizen participation in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. In Political communication in postmodern democracy: Challenging the primacy of politics. Edited by Kees Brants and Katrin Voltmer, 183–199. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1057/9780230294783Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Addresses the extent to which citizen journalism is emerging in the British and Dutch online mediascapes. Develops a typology contrasting participatory journalism, in which professional news organizations exert a high degree of editorial control, with citizen journalism, in which the extent of professional control is lower if nonexistent. Concludes that although participatory journalism is gaining a foothold (albeit grudgingly) in the UK, many fewer examples of citizen journalism exist, at least compared to the United States.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • El-Nawawy, Mohammed, and Sahar Khamis. 2013. Egyptian revolution 2.0: Political blogging, civic engagement, and citizen journalism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1057/9781137020925Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Discusses the institutional locations and uses of social media in relation to the Arab Spring, arguing that a variety of digital media have been crucial in allowing the public to assert its views outside of official channels, or as sources to inform or to be used as part of traditional media accounts. The book focuses on an analysis of five blogs active at the time of the Arab Spring, which together carried out many roles, from informing to mobilizing.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Fenton, Natalie, ed. 2010. New media, old news: Journalism and democracy in the digital age. Los Angeles: SAGE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.4135/9781446280010Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Scholarly collection consisting of a mix of empirical studies and normative evaluation. Notable for using wide-ranging approaches, from historical and economic to regulatory, sociopolitical, and organizational. Explores how the rise of citizen journalism has reconfigured the role and place of journalism in a democratic society. Concludes that common elements voiced by optimists and pessimists include accelerated pace and increased space for news, multiplicity and polyvocality of perspectives, and interactivity and participation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Kaufhold, Kelly, Sebastian Valenzuela, and Homero Gil de Zúñiga. 2010. Citizen journalism and democracy: How user-generated news use relates to political knowledge and participation. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly 87:515–529.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1177/107769901008700305Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Found that citizen journalism boosted online participation but that professional news improved knowledge of events as well as civic participation generally.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Papacharissi, Zizi, ed. 2009. Journalism and citizenship: New agendas in communication. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Examines the intersection of journalism and citizenship within changes wrought by online digital technologies and converged media environments. One of few works that examines a broad range of social media in relation to journalism. Argues that traditional journalism should support nontraditional public participation in order to live up to its ethical commitment to make possible broad public deliberation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ratto, Matt, and Megan Boler, eds. 2014. DIY citizenship: Critical making and social media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Collection that addresses multiple forms of do-it-yourself citizenship through social media. Section 4, titled “DIY and Media: Redistributing Authority and Sources in News Media” (pp. 307–401) contains a number of articles that address news explicitly. They see its collective making as a means to develop and rehearse new forms of active citizenship but at the same time often limited by the very digital technologies that are portrayed as liberatory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Romano, Angela, ed. 2010. International journalism and democracy: Civic engagement models from around the world. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Distinguishes deliberation as a third possible journalistic role beyond the traditional role of informing and the activist role of mobilizing, one that encourages community engagement while retaining professional autonomy. Broadly international collection of case studies that highlight efforts in putting this deliberative role in practice, the success of which is determined by the quality of collaboration between journalism and other groups, organizations, and institutions.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Tunney, Sean, and Garrett Monaghan, eds. 2010. Web journalism: A new form of citizenship? Eastbourne, UK: Sussex Academic Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Geographically and thematically wide-ranging collection by scholars and practitioners. Excellent introductory essay. Among the issues addressed is how news bloggers have undermined traditional journalists’ authority, how blogging by journalists has affected their own work, how these tensions play out in a variety of countries, and how web journalism as a whole challenges (if not remakes) the traditional role of citizen in relation to news production and dissemination.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Williams, Bruce A., and Michael X. Delli Carpini. 2011. After broadcast news: Media regimes, democracy, and the new information environment. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511846366Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Centralized news organizations have stifled public involvement in politics, but the new media environment suggests new potentials and means of involvement. Concludes by re-emphasizing the need for forms of consensual, moderated public deliberation and debate.

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