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A sociological analysis of citizen journalism

Watson, Hayley (2011) A sociological analysis of citizen journalism. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86486) (KAR id:86486)

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The study of citizen journalism from a sociological perspective is a new and evolving area of research. Accordingly, with such a wide scope for research to be conducted, this thesis has opted to approach the study of citizen journalism from a social constructionist position; viewing those members of the public that choose to engage in the creation of news as active participants in the construction of news today. By focusing on the impact of citizen journalism on the nature of agenda-setting and claims-making, this thesis seeks to add to existing viewpoints of the construction of news by considering the impact of citizen journalism on these traditional processes. In order to address citizen journalism, a case study of terrorism has been selected for analytical purposes; the 7th July 2005 London bombings. Using qualitative media analysis, this thesis- assesses two distinct types of citizen journalism; those acts of public led journalism that involve citizen journalists relying on the news media for publication in acts of dependent citizen journalism, and alternatively acts of citizen journalism that involve citizen journalists' employing their own digital tools for the self-publication of news. By assessing citizen journalism in relation to terrorism, in addition to adding to our understanding of the social construction of news, this thesis has also been able to contribute to existing academic approaches to understanding the relationship between the media and terrorism. This thesis aims to highlight the importance of a "sociology of the news" that recognises the involvement of the public in the production and distribution of information.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Furedi, Frank
Thesis advisor: Hayward, Keith J.
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86486
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2019 13:54 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2021 14:03 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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