The "public eye" or "disaster tourists": Investigating public perceptions of citizen smartphone imagery

Stuart Allan, Chris Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

This article contributes to debates regarding professional–amateur interfaces in photojournalism by reporting on findings from a qualitative study with members of a demographic cohort often described as “millennial” users (that is, people born between 1980 and 1999). A textual analysis of their responses identified five thematics for analysis: (1) respondents’ views regarding the prospective role of bearing witness and what it may entail; (2) the motivations of those engaged in this type of activity; (3) the uses of citizen smartphone imagery by news organisations; (4) presumed distinctions between professional and amateur or citizen photojournalism; and (5) ethical questions of trust where the ensuing imagery was concerned. On this evidential basis, professional photojournalism’s discursive authority is shown to be open to challenge by the alternative ethos of citizen imagery, with respondents’ perceptions raising questions over realness, authenticity and truth-value complicating, and at times destabilising, familiar professional–amateur normative binarisms.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital Journalism
Volume3
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)477-494
ISSN2167-0811
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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