Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Training or Improvisation? Citizen journalists and their educational backgrounds - a comparative view


Kus, Michal; Eberwein, Tobias; Porlezza, Colin; Splendore, Sergio (2017). Training or Improvisation? Citizen journalists and their educational backgrounds - a comparative view. Journalism Practice, 11(2-3):355-372.

Abstract

While citizen journalists hope to bring new impulses to mass media performance, it is often asked whether they are adequately trained for the production of “newsworthy” stories. This paper focuses on educational aspects of citizen journalism, which, to date, have largely been disregarded by empirical research. A comparative analytical design illustrates the different ways in which citizen journalists acquire and develop the skills that are necessary to undertake journalistic activities in the different journalism cultures throughout Europe. The authors carried out a multi-national analysis in six European countries (United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and Poland). In each country, an extensive desk study helped to map the field of citizen journalism and highlight the most relevant examples. Semi-structured interviews with 54 practitioners in the field (representing different types of citizen journalism) made it possible to identify the alternative strategies that citizen journalists employ to prepare themselves for news production initiatives. The research demonstrates that the educational backgrounds of citizen journalists display differences as well as similarities—both within and across journalism cultures. While some of the actors in the field have a clear idea of what constitutes good journalism (and sometimes even aspire to work in a mainstream media organization), others seem to care little about journalistic standards and have only a vague idea about the identity of the profession. On the basis of these insights, the paper develops a typology of citizen journalists that takes into account both their education and their journalistic scope.

Abstract

While citizen journalists hope to bring new impulses to mass media performance, it is often asked whether they are adequately trained for the production of “newsworthy” stories. This paper focuses on educational aspects of citizen journalism, which, to date, have largely been disregarded by empirical research. A comparative analytical design illustrates the different ways in which citizen journalists acquire and develop the skills that are necessary to undertake journalistic activities in the different journalism cultures throughout Europe. The authors carried out a multi-national analysis in six European countries (United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and Poland). In each country, an extensive desk study helped to map the field of citizen journalism and highlight the most relevant examples. Semi-structured interviews with 54 practitioners in the field (representing different types of citizen journalism) made it possible to identify the alternative strategies that citizen journalists employ to prepare themselves for news production initiatives. The research demonstrates that the educational backgrounds of citizen journalists display differences as well as similarities—both within and across journalism cultures. While some of the actors in the field have a clear idea of what constitutes good journalism (and sometimes even aspire to work in a mainstream media organization), others seem to care little about journalistic standards and have only a vague idea about the identity of the profession. On the basis of these insights, the paper develops a typology of citizen journalists that takes into account both their education and their journalistic scope.

Statistics

Altmetrics

Downloads

1 download since deposited on 16 Feb 2017
1 download since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:16 Feb 2017 14:13
Last Modified:08 Mar 2017 02:04
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1751-2786
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/17512786.2016.1221737

Download

Preview Icon on Download
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only
Size: 489kB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations