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Citizen Journalists and the Evolution of Political Media

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Abstract:

This article will examine the state of citizen journalism today. This is no easy task, as new developments in this emerging communications form are ongoing and frequent. It will begin by defining the rather slippery concept of citizen journalism. Then it will describe the varieties of citizen journalism that are currently being employed, including those that are primarily the domain of amateurs, those dominated by professionals and hybrid forms. This overview will provide a context for the consideration of the role of traditional journalism and citizen journalism as news and information providers in the digital era. I will argue that the digital environment creates unprecedented opportunities for citizen forays into public communication. While radical changes are far from apparent at present, the transition in the political media environment that has been in the works since the late 1980s has the potential to produce fundamental shifts in the power relations between citizens, journalists and public officials. This discussion will be based primarily on the situation in the United States (US), although the rise in citizen journalism has been witnessed around the globe.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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  • The St Antony's International Review (STAIR) is the only peer-reviewed journal of international affairs at the University of Oxford. Set up by graduate students of St Antony's College in 2005, the Review has carved out a distinctive niche as a cross-disciplinary outlet for research on the most pressing contemporary global issues, providing a forum in which emerging scholars can publish their work alongside established academics and policymakers. Past contributors include Robert O. Keohane, James N. Rosenau, and Alfred Stepan.
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