Journalistic role conceptions and sourcing practices: A study of US citizen journalists

Deborah Chung, Seungahn Nah, Serena Carpenter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A national online survey of US-based citizen journalists is conducted to assess their journalistic role conceptions along with their sourcing practices. Findings reveal citizen journalists align their views moderately with five journalistic role conceptions identified in the literature—disseminator, interpreter, adversary and populist mobilizer—along with the civic function. Citizen journalists were found to most frequently rely on mainstream and online media reports. However, regression analyses reveal that mainstream and online media sources were negative predictors of the disseminator and civic roles while interpersonal connections and experiences emerged as positive predictors of these roles. Official sources were also found to function as a negative predictor of the adversary role. The importance of sourcing routines and patterns of citizen journalists are discussed in the context of developing citizen journalistic professionalism.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)65-99
Number of pages35
JournalEwha Journal of Social Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • citizen journalism
  • journalism role conceptions
  • sourcing patterns
  • Participatory journalism
  • story generation routines


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