Who are Citizen Journalists in the Social Media Environment?

, and . Digital Journalism 3 (2): 298-314 (2015)


The study examined the personal and social contexts which encourage or help to maintain individuals’ engagement in citizen journalism tasks. Drawing on the perspective of social capital, this study examines whether social media use, social network, social capital, and civic skills help to predict the degree of engagement in producing citizen journalism, especially on Twitter and Facebook. Findings demonstrate that bridging capital—connecting to gain new ideas and experiences—was a powerful predictor of citizen journalism activities on Facebook, whereas bonding capital—connecting with close, trusted acquaintances—strongly predicted less citizen journalism activity. Personal factors including social media use and individual civic skills were the most powerful predictors of citizen journalism activities on Twitter. In general, Twitter use fosters active citizen journalism behaviors, and those with civic skills prefer Twitter over Facebook as a medium for citizen journalism.

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