Citizen Journalism Before and During Digital Times

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  • Title: Citizen Journalism Before and During Digital Times: WWI Soldiers’ and Second Gulf War Bloggers’ Motivations to Become Journalists
  • Author(s): Matias Zibell
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Communication and Media Studies
  • Journal Title: The Journal of Communication and Media Studies
  • Keywords: Citizen Journalism, Trench Newspapers, Warblogs, World War One, Second Gulf War
  • Volume: 3
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2470-9247 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2470-9255 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2470-9247/CGP/v03i04/39-51
  • Citation: Zibell, Matias. 2018. "Citizen Journalism Before and During Digital Times: WWI Soldiers’ and Second Gulf War Bloggers’ Motivations to Become Journalists." The Journal of Communication and Media Studies 3 (4): 39-51. doi:10.18848/2470-9247/CGP/v03i04/39-51.
  • Extent: 13 pages

Abstract

The phenomenon of citizen journalism, or former members of a passive audience becoming active producers of news content, is linked by journalists and academics with new media technologies and digital tools. Experiences like the formation of the news-alternative website IndyMedia during the anti-globalization protests of 1999 in Seattle; the creation of the Korean newspaper OhmyNews.com in 2002, made exclusively by citizens; or the surge of Iraqi blogs in a bombarded Baghdad in 2003 appear impossible to separate from computer skills, electronic gadgets, and internet access. This reductionism has two important consequences: it excludes from the debate modern citizen journalism projects orientated to give voice to ordinary people that do not have access to the web, and it rules out any effort to find precedents to this phenomenon in the past. However, during the First World War, British, French, Canadian, and Australian soldiers produced their own newspapers. The goal of the soldiers was not so different from the aims of anti-globalization activists or Iraqi bloggers: to let the world knows their own version of what was happening. Could this be enough to consider trench journals published between 1914 and 1918 an example of citizen journalism? This is the question to be answered by this research.