Citizen Journalists' Views on Traditional Notions of Journalism, Story Sourcing, And Relationship Building: The persistence of legacy norms in an emerging news environment

Kirsten A. Johnson, Elizabethtown College
Burton St John, Old Dominion University


This study examines whether citizen journalists adhere to traditional journalistic norms when reporting. A nationwide survey and follow-up interviews with selected US citizen journalists showed they do consider traditional norms such as objectivity, gatekeeping, and balance to be very important. This is contrary to what some previous studies have found. Citizen journalists also indicated that both official and unofficial sources were integral to storytelling. This study's findings point to the need to examine further how citizen journalists incorporate traditional notions of journalism practice into their approaches to gathering and reporting news.