Theorizing Citizenship in Citizen Journalism
journal contributionposted on 09.02.2015, 14:20 authored by Vincent P. Campbell
Citizen journalism has become a prominent term referring to a variety of newsgathering and reporting practices conducted via a range of new digital technologies. The scholarly literature on citizen journalism, however, has tended to concentrate on its significance for journalism theory and practice whilst comparatively neglecting underlying questions about the theories of citizenship utilized within citizen journalism. This article examines the range of theories of citizenship at work in citizen journalism, highlighting problems in trying to locate citizen journalism practices and practitioners within definitional debates around citizenship. It explores how some theories construct citizen journalism as a tool for citizenship whilst others construct it as constituting a form of citizenship in its own right. The article identifies a range of problems within these theories in terms of their capacity to understand the relationship between citizen journalism and citizenship. It argues that fully understanding and situating citizen journalism requires moving beyond the journalismcentered focus which dominates the literature towards a consideration of citizen journalism that incorporates theories and practices of citizenship alongside those of journalism.