Community Newspaper Editors’ Perspectives on News Collaboration: Participatory Opportunities and Ethical Considerations Toward Citizen News Engagement

Deborah S. Chung, Seungahn Nah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines how the United States community newspapers engage community members and how editors view challenges of citizen participatory and collaboration practices with particular focus on ethical issues. To address this, the study conducted a content analysis of interactive news features offered by online newspapers and in-depth interviews with news editors. Findings reveal various ways that local newsrooms seemingly invite citizens to participate in telling the community news. Letters-to-the-editor were discussed most frequently in all aspects of their discussions—both in positive and negative ways. Legal concerns did not arise as such concerns were avoided and filtered before inclusion and publication, but ethical considerations were also discussed modestly. Editors as a whole generally turned to ideas reflected in traditional journalism codes of conduct for citizens as a guide in their practice of submitting content with primary focus placed on truth telling, independence, and transparency. Implications are discussed in terms of citizen news engagement, news collaboration, and participatory journalism and the continued institutional control of content through normalization of the news and separation between professional and citizen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1306-1326
Number of pages21
JournalJournalism Practice
Volume16
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information Research & Creative Activities Program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Audience participation
  • citizen journalism
  • citizen news engagement
  • collaboration
  • journalism ethics
  • newspaper editors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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