Citizen journalism v. legacy news: The battle for news supremacy

Jul 08, 2010

A team of researchers from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and two other schools say that even the top 60 citizen websites and bloggers are not filling the information shortfall that has resulted from cutbacks in traditional media.

"While many of the blogs and citizen journalism sites have done very interesting and positive things, they are not even close to providing the level of coverage that even financially stressed organizations do today," said Margaret Duffy, associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism. "Not only do these blogs and websites lack the staff to adequately cover stories, but most citizen journalism managers do not have the financial resources and business experience to make their websites viable over time."

Duffy collaborated with Esther Thorson, associate dean for graduate studies at the MU School of Journalism, and Mi Jangh, doctoral candidate at MU, along with others at Michigan State and North Carolina. The Pew and Knight foundations underwrote the research.

The researchers identified a number of factors including how much linking each included, how much public participation they allowed or invited, how frequently news and content were updated, and whether the citizen websites provided contact information for the public.

Duffy says it is important to understand how citizen journalism and legacy news organizations co-exist. She believes it is critical that democracy have an effective journalistic presence. With many newspapers and broadcast news outlets struggling financially, she is concerned about the future of journalism.

"A strong democracy depends on vibrant, robust news coverage with informed citizens and voting public," Duffy said. "If news media have to cut back and are unable to provide the same level of coverage for their communities that they did in the past, may need to step in. That is why it is important to examine what these websites need to do to improve and survive. "

Explore further: A two generation lens: Current state policies fail to support families with young children

More information: Elements of the study were published in the Newspaper Research Journal as well as presented at the International Communication Association conference June 24 in Singapore.

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User comments : 4

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COCO
5 / 5 (1) Jul 13, 2010
will take awhile for the gulf of lies associated with US MSM to be filled by the internet - their legacy of lies e.g. Stolen elections, cheerleading for war and a lack of investigative journalism remains a train wreck we all have responsiblity for creating.
Maguire
not rated yet Jul 24, 2010
I certainly agree that citizen journalism has not yet met the overall coverage that traditional press and media have, yet this may soon change with the introduction of youtube's citizentube. This will open up a whole new avenue for citizen journalists, and to inspire others to report news. This may offer the potential for citizen journalists to create more localized news.

There is an interview series on citizen journalism that you might enjoy.
http://www.ourblo...ism.html
marjon
not rated yet Jul 25, 2010
""A strong democracy depends on vibrant, robust news coverage with informed citizens and voting public," "

"Others went further. According to records obtained by The Daily Caller, at several points during the 2008 presidential campaign a group of liberal journalists took radical steps to protect their favored candidate.

Read more: http://dailycalle...ufDZba2g
"
"the members of Journolist discussed whether the federal government should shut the channel down.

Read more: http://dailycalle...ufENw3LW
"
How many Missouri School of Journalism professors and students are on Journolist?
marjon
not rated yet Jul 25, 2010
"Honor and conscience. I told my students: They are what make you give a fair and honest quote to a source you may not like. It’s what makes you recognize the basic humanity of a politician you hate. It’s what makes you risk a job because you think you’re editor is asking you to do something immoral.

Read more: http://dailycalle...ufGswAke
"
"With many newspapers and broadcast news outlets struggling financially, she is concerned about the future of journalism."

The answer is simple, trust. Customers don't trust 'professional' journalists and won't pay for it.