Uncovering the relationship between citizen journalism and development communication

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University of Alabama Libraries

This study examined the conditions in which a citizen journalism site may be more or less likely to adopt aspects of development communication, a field that applies communication to socioeconomic betterment. As a participatory media form, citizen journalism overlaps with certain aspects of development theory. Due to various reasons, citizen journalism is increasing in the United States, and several mainstream media institutions are partnering with these outlets. Given the historical tension between the mainstream media and development communication, it was predicted that the more a citizen journalism site was aligned with institutional journalism, the less it would demonstrate traits of development communication. A content analysis was conducted to analyze a random sample of citizen journalism sites. Results from a regression analysis and t-tests showed that, rather than diminishing the presence of development communication, mainstream media alignment increased the likelihood of development communication. Despite low efforts toward development overall, when it was present, there was more openness to it from the mainstream than predicted.

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