Archive for the ‘Academia’Category

Journalists exposed for their biased coverage of England riots

News outlets need to be held to account for their coverage of the headline-hitting English riots, a new report has argued.

Media and the Riots: A Call for Action, published on the first anniversary of the Tottenham, north London, riot which took place last August, is the first report to examine the impact of the mainstream print and broadcast media’s reporting on the communities most affected.

The report, written by University of Leicester sociologist Dr Leah Bassel, reflects the views of those people who attended the Media and the Riots conference held by the Citizen Journalism Educational Trust and in November.

Read more about the Media and the Riots – A Call For Action report on The-Latest.Com:

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Low Traffic for Online News?

The Federal Communications Commission released a report by George Washington University professor Matthew Hindman that surprisingly few people check local news online. The numbers are sobering, but Joshua Benton at Nieman Journalism Lab puts it into perspective.

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06 2011

Academic Research on Citizen Journalism

Some interesting academic papers regarding citizen journalism were presented in Civic and Citizen Journalism Interest Group of AEJMC (Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication). CCJIG (Civic and Citizen Journalism Interest Group) began in 1994 during the formative years of civic/ public journalism, which was focused on using journalistic practices to foster civic engagement. As time has passed, interests of the group and its membership have turned to new ways of expressing this engagement, especially through citizen-based participatory journalism, leading to a corresponding change of the group’s name to the Civic and Citizen Journalism Interest Group in 2005. As blogging, hyper-local media, and audience contributions to online news operations of mainstream media have grown, CCJIG has developed into a vibrant community of scholars interested in research and teaching about these phenomena.

Citizen Journalism and Cognitive Processing: An experiment on the perceived intent of traditional versus citizen journalism sources,” Heather E Akin, Melissa Tully, Gerald Stoecklein & Hernando Rojas

Using a three-wave longitudinal design with an embedded web-based experiment, this study considers whether manipulating the source of a news report (citizen journalism versus traditional journalism) affects perceived thought-provoking motivations. Results show that respondents perceive a citizen journalism source as intending to be more thought provoking about food issues than a traditional news source. Moreover, previous levels of engagement suggest that those who are less engaged with an issue are the ones who are more likely to see a citizen journalism source as intending to make them think. Findings and implications for future research are discussed.

Gatekeeping and Citizen Journalism A Qualitative Examination of Participatory Newsgathering,” Amani Channel

For nearly sixty years, scholars have studied how information is selected, vetted, and shared by news organizations. The process, known as gatekeeping, is an enduring mass communications theory that describes the process by which news is gathered and filtered to audiences. It has been suggested, however, that in the wake of online communications the traditional function of media gatekeeping is changing. The infusion of citizen-gathered media into news programming is resulting in what some call a paradigm shift. As mainstream news outlets adopt and encourage public participation, it is important that researchers have a greater understanding of the theoretical implications related to participatory media and gatekeeping. This study will be among the first to examine the adoption of citizen journalism by a major cable news network. It will focus on CNN’s citizen journalism online news community called iReport, which allows the public to share and submit “unfiltered” content. Vetted submissions that are deemed newsworthy can then be broadcasted across CNN’s networks, and published on This journalism practice appears to follow the thoughts of Nguyen (2006), who states that, “future journalists will need to be trained to not only become critical gate-keepers but also act as listeners, discussion and forum leaders/mediators in an intimate interaction with their audiences.” The goal of the paper is to lay a foundation for understanding how participatory media is utilized by a news network to help researchers possibly develop new models and hypotheses related to gatekeeping theory.

Perceived Role Conceptions of Citizen and Professional Journalists: Citizens’ Views,” Deborah Chung & Seungahn Nah

This study aims to identify citizen journalists’ role conceptions regarding their journalistic news contributing activities and their perceptions regarding professional journalists’ role conceptions. Based on a national survey of 130 citizen journalists, four factors emerged for both citizen and professional journalists’ role conceptions: interpreter, adversary, facilitator and mobilizer. Perceptions of civic journalism values were also examined. Analyses reveal that citizen journalists perceive their roles to be generally similar to professional journalistic roles. Furthermore, respondents rated certain roles to be more prominent functions for citizen journalists. In particular, the citizen journalist role of facilitator was rated as significantly more important than those of the traditional press.

Alternative and Citizen Journalism: Mapping the Conceptual Differences,” Farooq Kperogi

Although it is customary for some scholars to conflate citizen media and alternative media, I argue in this paper that they are different. In the new media literature, citizen journalism is conceptualized as online “news content produced by ordinary citizens with no formal journalism training.” Alternative journalism, on the other hand, is not merely non-professionalized and non-institutionalized journalism produced by ordinary citizens; it is also purposively counter-hegemonic and “closely wedded to notions of social responsibility, replacing an ideology of ‘objectivity’ with overt advocacy and oppositional practices.”

Reconsidering citizen journalism- An historical analysis,” Justin Walden

The rise of Web 2.0 publishing platforms has understandably had a dramatic impact on a number of different communication processes and fields in recent years. One area that has been profoundly influenced by the newfound ability for “regular” Internet users to self publish is citizen journalism. This theoretical paper examines current and historical perspectives on the citizen journalism movement, giving particular heed to a review of how recent Internet technologies have given amateur reporters far more reach and influence. This graduate-student produced article traces how today’s political bloggers and videographers are countering some centuries-old journalism practices and rechanneling the activism that guided Thomas Paine and other American Revolutionaries. This paper concludes that citizen journalism today is poised to follow a similar historical trajectory of legacy media from the 18th century. This article also argues that academic scholarship needs to shed further light on this trajectory and the seemingly inevitable standardization that will occur with citizen journalism newsgathering practices and presentation styles.

More abstracts are available here.

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10 2010

Social Media Enters Academia

Academic Twitter
Photo based on works by klinslis and Mike Licht on Twitter

Alfred Hermida at MediaShift has kicked off a series on how schools are teaching digital journalism, starting with the line, “Social media is such a new phenomenon that it is easy for someone to claim to be an expert in the subject.”

So true.

Please read the article to get some fascinating tidbits. Here are a few lessons being taught.

  • How to use Twitter to enhance beat reporting
  • Social media is not another tool to just distribute stories, it’s for conversation
  • Social media can help develop story ideas
  • Etiquette–as in, don’t blatantly post a message seeking information
  • How to evaluate and manage your online reputation
  • Online collaboration

How to Teach Social Media in Journalism Schools

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08 2010

Does “Ground Zero Mosque” Violate Journalist Ethics?


Credit: Tambako on Flickr

Brian McDermott argues that calling the Park51 Muslim community center and mosque the “Ground Zero Mosque” violates the journalist tenet to be accurate. It’s more of a community center than a mosque, and it’s two blocks away from Ground Zero. But calling it the “Ground Zero Mosque” as a convenient attention-getting headline (like I did above) implies that a full-blown mosque is being built right on or directly next to the Ground Zero site.

McDermott says it’s similar to calling the Lace Gentlemen’s Club in Manhattan the “Fox News Strip Club,” even though it’s two blocks away from Fox News headquarters.

He has a point. Why don’t we call the Lace Gentlemen’s Club the “Fox News Strip Club?”

What the ‘Ground Zero mosque’ flap says about the state of journalism

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08 2010