They are reactionary.
They are co-opted.
They are valued increasingly for the data
Yet they are a relative few.
They are influential.
Their content is perceived as less important
than “professional” content (Bergstrom, 2011;
Towner & Dulio, 2011)…
…though their news content is still
seen as valuable (Nah & Chung, 2012;
Wahl-Jorgensen, Williams, & Wardle, 2010).
Given the past associations between UGC consumption
and perceptions and the positively oriented motivations
for UGC creation:
H1. Individuals’ news creation will be positively
associated with positive attitudes regarding citizen
H2. Individuals’ consumption of citizen journalism will
be positively associated with positive attitudes about
RQ1. What association, if any, will there be between
news consumers and attitudes about citizen journalism?
The tenets of good journalism according to
professional journalists are:
Accuracy, autonomy, objectivity, watchdog nature
The tenets of good journalism according to the
Giving voice to the people, interpretation, objectivity
(though journalists are failing at it)
We thus pose the following two hypotheses and one research
question regarding the conceptions of good journalism among news
creators, news consumers, and citizen journalism consumers:
H3. Individuals’ creation of news content will be positively
associated with affirming the professional tenets of good
H4. Individuals’ news consumption will be positively associated
with affirming the professional tenets of good journalism.
RQ2. What association, if any, will there be between citizen
journalism consumers and affirming the professional tenets of
Data: Nationally representative survey of adults, 312 respondents
Key Variables: News creation, news consumption, citizen journalism
consumption, attitude toward citizen journalism, perception of the
tenets of good journalism
Controls: Gender (64.6% female), age (M = 49.32, SD = 12.25), race
(77.2% white), education levels (M = 4.52, SD = 1.92, 1 = high school, 8 =
doctorate), income (M = 6.26, SD = 2.53, 1 = less than $10,000, 15 =
more than $100,000)
Other controls: Political efficacy, trust
So, who knows best?
The distinction between creators and consumers might not be as
important as the distinction between news consumers and consumers
of citizen journalism.
Those who consume citizen journalism may have the best attitudes
Those who consume the news generally may best identify with the
tenets of professional journalism, more than those who create
Those who create might just create.
See pages 11-17, may want to briefly explain or use examples for the variables.
Zero order correlations represent relationship without controls while partial correlations represent the controls (better glimpse). News creation is associated with positive and negative attitudes toward citizen journalism, but not with identifying tenets of good journalism. News consumption is associated with identifying tenets of good journalism. Citizen journalism consumption is associated with positive and negative attitudes toward citizen journalism, but not with identifying tenets of good journalism. Wait, huh? We’ll get there with a regression analysis. That helps us see the results a bit more clearly.
In our first block, we entered all demographics, which accounted for insignificant changes in positive attitudes and the tenets of good journalism, but did explain a bit of the negative attitudes.
In our second block, we see that political efficacy and trust, especially trust, play a major role for all three and accounted heavily for the variance in positive attitudes toward citizen journalism. In the third block, we see that creation and consumption, which are often blended together in research, do collectively explain a significant portion of the variance for all. However, we see some interesting patterns. For example, the consumption of citizen journalism is the only positive predictor of positive attitudes toward citizen journalism. Conversely, the consumption of news is the only positive predictor of the tenets of good journalism. The actual act of creation plays a relatively insignificant role here, which is interesting. This effect stays the same even when controlling for attitudes toward citizen journalism, which we did. The effect of attidues was insignificantly small.