Alternative and Citizen Journalism

Authored by: Chris Atton

The Handbook of Journalism Studies

Print publication date:  November  2008
Online publication date:  January  2009

Print ISBN: 9780805863420
eBook ISBN: 9780203877685
Adobe ISBN: 9781135592011


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This chapter examines journalism that is produced not by professionals but by those outside mainstream media organizations. Amateur media producers typically have little or no training or professional qualifications as journalists; they write and report from their position as citizens, as members of communities, as activists, as fans. This chapter will show how key writers in the subject area have understood the activities of these amateur journalists. The chapter places these activities in three categories: social movement media and citizens’ media; local alternative journalism; fanzines and blogs. It examines the major studies to show how different theoretical and ideological perspectives have influenced the nature of those studies. Examples will be drawn from the key texts in the area including Atton (2002), Downing, Ford, Gil and Stein (2001) and Rodriguez (2001).

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