The source the resource and the collaborator the role of citizen journalism in uk local newspapers
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The source, the resource and the collaborator: The role of citizen journalism in UK local newspapers. Lily Canter, PhD student, The University of Sheffield. “There is a role for professional journalism and a role for citizen journalism. The future belongs to both. It is not an either/or.”

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Lily Canter, PhD student, The University of Sheffield

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The source, the resource and the collaborator: The role of citizen journalism in UK local newspapers

Lily Canter, PhD student, The University of Sheffield


“There is a role for professional journalism and a role for citizen journalism. The future belongs to both. It is not an either/or.”

Keith Perch, Editor Leicester Mercury, May 2011


Theoretical framework

Economic vs civic conflicts

(Jenkins, 2008; Ornebring, 2008; Haas, 2007, Habermas, 1989)

Contemporary role of the gatekeeper

  • Retaininggatekeeping via moderation

    (Hermida and Thurman, 2008; Ornebring, 2008; Deuze, 2006;)

  • Redefining gatekeepers as sense-makers

    (Singer, 2010; Newman, 2009)

  • Sharing the gates (Paulussen, 2007; Gillmor, 2006)


Community reporter roles


Pilot collaboration model (RQ1)

Citizens’ Eye feeding Leicester Mercury brands


Rules of engagement (RQ3)

* These can be complemented by citizen journalists providing additional material such as eyewitness accounts, video, audio and photography


Hard news followed up by journalists (resource becomes source)

News desk dictate page no.

Sub editor writes headlines

Branded as citizen journalism

News agenda set by Citizens’ Eye

Photos by Citizens’ Eye

Low level reporting

Self interest news

Flexibility in style


Complementary collaboration

“It is not about replacing professional journalists it is about supporting them.”

John Coster, Editor Citizens’ Eye, May 2011


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