Characteristics and Origins of Citizen Journalism Catalogued in US Academia: A systematic literature review
Category: Social Science
Abstract – Citizen Journalism (CJ), herein defined as the act of citizens creating, disseminating, and engaging with specific news content, has been on the rise in the United States since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. Despite this increase in both CJ production and its subsequent use by Traditional Journalism (TJ) organizations, conflicting beliefs about CJ’s primary characteristics and the origin of its modern form exist within academic circles. This systematic review synthesizes peer-reviewed, English-language journal articles about CJ published after 9/11 to better understand how scholars qualify CJ and explain its rise. Of the 664 sources identified on Academic Search Premier and JSTOR, 35 fulfilled established criteria and were analyzed. Eleven recurring characteristics of CJ were noted, and the majority of authors cited Web 2.0 as the trigger for CJ’s modern rise. Further work on the interdependent nature of Traditional Journalism and Citizen Journalism is needed to understand how they will fit together in an evolving newsscape.