Visual truths of citizen reportage

Four research problematics

Stuart Allan, Chris Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In striving to better understand issues associated with citizen contributions to newsmaking in crisis situations, this article identifies and elaborates four specific research problematics – bearing witness, technologies of truth-telling, mediating visualities and affectivities of othering – in order to recast more familiar modes of enquiry. Specifically, it provides an alternative heuristic to theorize the journalistic mediation of citizen imagery, and the myriad ways this process of negotiation maintains, repairs and at times disrupts the interstices of professional–amateur boundaries. Rather than centring analysis on how crisis events highlight change, it discerns the basis for a critical tracing of the material configurations and contingencies shaping journalistic imperatives towards generating visually truthful reportage. In seeking to move debates about how best to enliven digital journalism's future beyond the polarities of new media advocacy and criticism alike, we emphasize the importance of developing a collaborative, co-operative ethos of connectivity between journalists as citizens and citizens as journalists. Accordingly, each proposed problematic is examined in a manner alert to pinpointing its prospective value for theory-building, and in so doing elucidating its potential utility for scholarship in the years ahead.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation, Communication & Society
Volume18
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1348-1361
Number of pages13
ISSN1369-118X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

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title = "Visual truths of citizen reportage: Four research problematics",
abstract = "In striving to better understand issues associated with citizen contributions to newsmaking in crisis situations, this article identifies and elaborates four specific research problematics – bearing witness, technologies of truth-telling, mediating visualities and affectivities of othering – in order to recast more familiar modes of enquiry. Specifically, it provides an alternative heuristic to theorize the journalistic mediation of citizen imagery, and the myriad ways this process of negotiation maintains, repairs and at times disrupts the interstices of professional–amateur boundaries. Rather than centring analysis on how crisis events highlight change, it discerns the basis for a critical tracing of the material configurations and contingencies shaping journalistic imperatives towards generating visually truthful reportage. In seeking to move debates about how best to enliven digital journalism's future beyond the polarities of new media advocacy and criticism alike, we emphasize the importance of developing a collaborative, co-operative ethos of connectivity between journalists as citizens and citizens as journalists. Accordingly, each proposed problematic is examined in a manner alert to pinpointing its prospective value for theory-building, and in so doing elucidating its potential utility for scholarship in the years ahead.",
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Visual truths of citizen reportage : Four research problematics. / Allan, Stuart; Peters, Chris.

In: Information, Communication & Society, Vol. 18, No. 11, 18.09.2015, p. 1348-1361.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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AB - In striving to better understand issues associated with citizen contributions to newsmaking in crisis situations, this article identifies and elaborates four specific research problematics – bearing witness, technologies of truth-telling, mediating visualities and affectivities of othering – in order to recast more familiar modes of enquiry. Specifically, it provides an alternative heuristic to theorize the journalistic mediation of citizen imagery, and the myriad ways this process of negotiation maintains, repairs and at times disrupts the interstices of professional–amateur boundaries. Rather than centring analysis on how crisis events highlight change, it discerns the basis for a critical tracing of the material configurations and contingencies shaping journalistic imperatives towards generating visually truthful reportage. In seeking to move debates about how best to enliven digital journalism's future beyond the polarities of new media advocacy and criticism alike, we emphasize the importance of developing a collaborative, co-operative ethos of connectivity between journalists as citizens and citizens as journalists. Accordingly, each proposed problematic is examined in a manner alert to pinpointing its prospective value for theory-building, and in so doing elucidating its potential utility for scholarship in the years ahead.

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