Cultural & Social Studies

Excellence in Scholarship and Learning


Web Journalism

A New Form of Citizenship?

Sean Tunney is Principal Lecturer in Journalism and News Media at Roehampton University. A former Web journalist, he published Labour and the Press with Sussex Academic Press in 2007.

Garrett Monaghan is Associate Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at the University of Portsmouth. He has worked widely in the media and maintains his own practice as a Media Arts consultant.

Web Journalism: A New Form of Citizenship provides a much-needed analytical account of the implications of interactive participation in the construction of media content. Although web journalism is a fast-changing technology this book will have sustained appeal to an international readership by seeking to critically assess Internet news production.

With the rise of blogging and citizen journalism, it is a commonplace to observe that interactive participatory media are transforming the relationship between the traditional professional media and their audience. A current, popular, assumption is that the traditional flow of information from media to citizen is being reformed into a democratic dialogue between members of a community. The editors and contributors analyse and debate this assumption through international case studies that include the United Kingdom and United States.

While the text has been written and designed for undergraduate and postgraduate use, Web Journalism: A New Form of Citizenship? will be of use and of interest to all those engaged in the debate over Web reporting and citizen journalism.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-278-5
Hardback Price: £55.00 / $74.95
Release Date: December 2009
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84519-279-2
Paperback Price: £19.50 / $34.95
Release Date: December 2009
Page Extent / Format: 272 pp. / 246 x 171 mm
Illustrated: No




Introduction Garrett Monaghan and Sean Tunney
Web Journalism: A New Form of Citizenship? 004

Part I: Setting the Scene

1 Vincent Campbell, Rachel Gibson, Barrie Gunter and Maria Touri
News Blogs, Mainstream News and News Agendas

2 Neil Thurman and Alfred Hermida
Gotcha: How Newsroom Norms Are Shaping Participatory Journalism Online

3 Gary Hudson and Mick Temple
We Are Not All Journalists Now

4 Tim Markham
The Case against the Democratic Influence of the Internet on Journalism

Part II: Professional and Citizen Journalists

5 Paul Bradshaw
Blogging Journalists: The Writing on the Wall

6 Kevin Marsh
“An Essential Service in the Life of the Nation”

7 Einar Thorsen, Stuart Allan and Cynthia Carter
Citizenship and Public Service: The Case of BBC News Online

8 Simon Gwyn Roberts
Shut Out But Switched On: Web Forums, Border Identities and the Evolving Narrative of Post-Devolution Wales

9 Andy Price
Local Voices: The Regional Press and User-Generated Content

10 Janet Jones
Changing Auntie: A Case Study in Managing and Regulating User-Generated News Content at the BBC

11 Lian Zhu
A Free Market of Ideas? The Utility of Citizen-Generated Content

12 Igor Vobic
The Blog in Slovenian Traditional Journalism: Gate-keeping, Audience and Citizenship

13 Serena Carpenter
A Study of Journalistic and Source Transparency in US Online Newspaper and Online Citizen Journalism Articles

Part III: The Role of Citizen Journalism

14 Aaron Barlow and Annie Seaton
Seeing the Unseen: Is New-Media Journalism Reshaping Questions of Race?

15 Dmitry Epstein and Dor Reich
Citizen Journalism Online: Promise of an Alternative Conflict Discourse?

16 Ryan Bowman
Rehearsing Democracy: New Media, Political Freedoms and Censorship in Uganda

17 Quian Gong
Facilitating Participatory Communication in China: An Analysis of Citizen Journalists and Media Regulators in the Qiangguo Forum and its Discussions on Income Inequality

18 Rena Bivens and Chen Li
Web-Oriented Public Participation in Contemporary China

Part IV: Mainstream Journalism

19 Saayan Chattopadhyay
Online Journalism: The Changing Media Ecology from an Indian Perspective

20 Alfred Hermida
Let’s Talk: How Blogging is Shaping the BBC’s Relationship with the Public

21 Nicholas Jones
Online Television: A Threat to Balanced Political Reporting

The Contributors


Journalists used to be the exclusive gatekeepers of media information. Though publishers arguably have their own agendas, professional journalists selected and researched stories and then presented them to the public with the expectation of integrity, lack of bias, and fairness. But with the advent of the Internet, newsgathering is no longer a one-way avenue from journalist to reader. Now ‘citizen journalists’ can report their views, opinions, and agendas (evident or hidden) through blogging and Weblogs, independent of journalists bound by professional ethics. Due in part to declining readership, mainstream media outlets have recognized the need to change and now have blogs of their own staffed by journalists. Participatory journalism has also been influential in creating social and political change, especially in developing countries. This book explores all this, as well as how mainstream media have interacted with citizen journalism. It includes discussion of the changing attitude toward traditional media as an authoritative news source and of the way participatory journalism is shaping how both the traditional media and the populace view what is newsworthy. A final section analyzes this relatively new phenomenon in reshaping the role of the citizenry in a new democratic reporting process. Recommended.

Public participation and the Internet is reforming the news media in dramatic ways across the globe, so it is time to have a serious debate about what that means for journalism and society: this timely book is a thoughtful, wide-ranging and relevant way to kick-start that conversation.
Charlie Beckett, Director of POLIS at the London School of Economics and author of Supermedia: Saving Journalism So It Can Change the World

Journalism finds itself in a turbulent period of transition. This outstanding volume addresses the major transformations facing journalism today as it increasingly goes online: it tackles such issues as how we define what journalism is, what criteria we should use to evaluate it, as well as who is and is not a journalist. Further, these topics lead us into still more profound questions about the role of journalism in the politics of modern society and the health of democracy more generally. Questions also come to the fore concerning the kind of journalism citizens need, and to what extent citizens should participate in its production and dissemination.
... The editors have done a splendid job in assembling and presenting a broad range of robust contributions from both academic scholars and practitioners. This generous collection of 21 chapters encompasses a variety of perspectives and points of departure, highlighting key points of debate. The reader is offered insights into what is happening in the online journalism of the mainstream media and how the notion of professionalism is contested; the world of journalistic blogging is illuminated from variety of perspectives; versions of citizen journalism are explored. The horizon of democracy and citizenship serves as an integrating framework, yet the breadth is also impressive: chapters probe the divergent paths these developments can take in different national and political contexts, including modern China.
... Slated to become a landmark book in the areas of web studies and journalism, this lively and engaging collection will attract readers from many fields.
Professor Peter Dahlgren, Lund University, author of Democracy and the Media

For undergraduate and graduate students, journalists, and others, Tunney and Monaghan assemble 21 chapters that explore how the internet has changed the news. A group of professional journalists and academic theorists mostly from the UK and US consider whether the rise of interactive forms of mainstream media, blogging, and citizen journalism provide citizens with new opportunities to dialogue with those who control the news and how the relationship between traditional media and their audience has changed, as well as the role of the journalist. Focusing on the US and Britain, they examine how journalism has changed its practices; the impact of these changes on the media, truth, citizenship, and the world; the gatekeeping role of mainstream news organizations; the impact and role of blogging, including the roles of race and accountability; the participation of citizens in the BBC; and how journalism can facilitate new forms of citizenship in places like China, India, and Uganda, and among Palestinians and Israelis.
Reference & Research Book News

Books can be ordered by phone or online

Ordering in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australasia, South America and Rest of the World

Gazelle Book Services
Direct sales tel.: +44 (0)1524 528500; email:
Web ordering:

Ordering in the United States and Canada
Independent Publishers Group (IPG)
Direct sales tel.: (800) 888-4741
Web ordering:

Bookseller Ordering
Information is provided under the Resources tab.

eBook Ordering
e-Book type availability can be sourced via by book title. Kindle availability is via Amazon .com and sites.