Research Output

Citizen journalism.

  Citizen journalism refers to journalism produced not by professionals but by those outside mainstream media organizations. Citizen journalists typically have little or no training or professional qualifications, but write and report as citizens, members of communities, activists, and fans (→ Activist Media). They are amateur media producers. The two broad types of citizen journalism are political and cultural.

The term citizen journalism dates from the 2000s, but its practice is not new. The radical reformist newspapers that flourished in England from the late eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries had characteristics similar to recent citizen journalism: the so-called pauper management; the stance as activists; and a close relationship with the audience, who themselves wrote reports (Curran & Seaton 2003). Similarities also appear in the anarchist presses at the turn of the twentieth century. Socialist organizations and political parties encouraged worker correspondents in English newspapers. Workers’ contributions arguably made the papers’ political philosophies relevant to readers’ experiences (→ Citizen Journalism, History of).

The space available distinguishes current citizen journalists. The Internet enables publication of reports outside of the industrial arrangements typical of media corporations. The Internet may also offer social movements a global reach.

  • Type:

    Book Chapter

  • Date:

    30 November 2007

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher


  • DOI:


  • Library of Congress:

    NE Print media


Atton, C. (2007). Citizen journalism. In Donsbach, W. (Ed.). The International Encyclopedia of Communication, 487-490. Wiley-Blackwell. doi:10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x



citizenship; community; political; cultural journalism; radical newspapers; anarchist press;

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