Amateurs striving for news production. Can they compete with professional journalism?

Stefan Bosshart, Philomen Schönhagen


With the rise of Web 2.0 the discussion about professional journalism changing radically or even becoming obsolete in the future has intensified. Up to now, empirical findings mainly stem from research on (micro-)blogging and show its complementary rather than equivalent function compared with professional journalism. Amazingly, the performance of collaborative amateur news websites with an explicitly journalistic approach has rarely been studied so far. Therefore, this paper compares the coverage of German Wikinews with a professional German mass media website and finds significant differences in various dimensions. It thus contributes to the growing empirical evidence and literature on citizen journalism.


Citizen journalism; Collaborative news production; Journalistic standards; Content analysis; Wikinews


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Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896