Empowering citizens: a comparative study of citizen journalism news websites

Xu Xiaoge (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore): Empowering citizens: a comparative study of citizen journalism news websites

Media practitioners have different perceptions and expectations of citizen journalism in different countries. Empirically, what citizen journalism should be and do can also differ from what it actually is and does in different societies. To map such differences, this study investigates eight leading citizen journalism news websites: Ohmynews, Merinews, Wikinews, NowPublic, Indymedia, GroundReport, GlobalVoices and iNorden. This study will look into citizen empowerment, the essence of citizen journalism. In the age of Web 2.0, citizens can be empowered through use of a wealth of web features. Previous studies have identified a list of 24 empowerment features to be used on the homepage and 18 empowerment features to be employed on the story page. These features constitute coding items for feature analysis. Using each homepage and a selected story page as a unit of analysis, this study codes these eight citizen journalism news websites to map and measure differences in citizen empowerment. The results of this empirical study are further measured against different normative notions of what citizen journalism should be and do in society, standards which are upheld by citizen journalists of the eight citizen journalism news websites. Besides measuring the normative and empirical gap in citizen journalism, this study will also look into possible factors that have shaped normative-empirical gap differences so as to pave the way for further efforts in theorizing differences in citizen journalism.

Timing - Friday - Panel Session C1

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License