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Thinking about Citizen Journalism: Perspectives on Participatory News Production at Community Newspa

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'We're a small paper, it allows us to get stuff in that we wouldn't be able to ... Kelly Kaufhold. Dominic L. Lasorsa. Contact: seth.lewis_at_mail.utexas.edu ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Thinking about Citizen Journalism: Perspectives on Participatory News Production at Community Newspa


1
Thinking about Citizen Journalism Perspectives
on Participatory News Production at Community
Newspapers
  • Seth C. Lewis
  • Kelly Kaufhold
  • Dominic L. Lasorsa
  • School of Journalism University of Texas

2
Digitization and its tension
Participatory
Professional
3
Clarifying our concepts
  • Citizen journalism
  • Smaller newspapers
  • Gatekeeping theory

4
Research questions
  • RQ1. In general, what do community newspaper
    editors think of citizen journalism, and how
    likely are they to incorporate some variation of
    it in their news operation?
  • RQ2. How do community newspapers negotiate
    citizen journalism, as a philosophical concept
    and a practical concern, in their role as
    community gatekeeper?

5
Methods
  • Systematic sampling of community papers
  • Semi-structured interviews with 29 top editors
  • Clarified the question of citizen journalism
  • Transcriptions textually analyzed

6
Results
  • Papers took one of four approaches
  • 1. Disfavored citizen-J on philosophical grounds
  • 2. Disfavored on practical grounds
  • OR
  • 3. Favored citizen-J on philosophical grounds
  • 4. Favored on practical grounds

7
Positive opinion of citizen journalism
Philosophy
Practicality

Negative opinion of citizen journalism
8
1. Disapprove on principle
  • News is meant to be reported professionally, not
    through some random citizen.
  • I guess we kind of feel like since were the
    journalists we need to be the ones writing.
  • I think citizen journalism detracts. People see
    us as the authority news source.
  • (We) have to control the content. We have a
    good idea of whats newsworthy based on our
    experience.

9
2. Disapprove for practical reasons
  • Im concerned that things can be construed as
    fact when theres nothing to back them up as
    factsit would be pretty labor intensive.
  • I see a lot of the citizen but not a lot of
    journalism. Theres a lot of slander and personal
    anger or bitterness, but not news.
  • Things like editing issues, liability
    problemsthey can go unchecked with this sort of
    thing.

10
3. Approve on theoretical grounds
  • Its vital to engaging a community that wants to
    have more ownership of their local media.
  • journalism will not be replaced by it but it
    will be supplemented by it.
  • Weve got to figure out a way to get the younger
    people involved and I think thats the way to do
    it.
  • We have an open-door policy. We even have
    students, student journalism.

11
4. Approve on practical grounds
  • Were a small paper, it allows us to get stuff
    in that we wouldnt be able to send a reporter
    to.
  • We involve citizens extensively We have
    columnists writing about nature, humor, gossip,
    etc.
  • There is so much more to cover and (only) so
    many people who are in a position to cover it.
  • Any time you get input from your readers, its
    good.

12
Positive opinion of citizen journalism
9 editors
9 editors
Philosophy
Practicality

7 editors
4 editors
Negative opinion of citizen journalism
13
Thanks.
  • Seth C. Lewis
  • Kelly Kaufhold
  • Dominic L. Lasorsa
  • Contact seth.lewis_at_mail.utexas.edu
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