The citizen as producer of information: a case study in the Portuguese online newspapers

João Canavilhas, Catarina Rodrigues


Considered by some authors (Gilmor, 2005; Rosen, 2008) as one of the traditional journalism greatest challenges, the so called “citizen journalism” is far from delivering its original promises. Regardless of their location and dimension, some of the most promising online media projects developed by citizens or created with this aim, lost their initial dynamic or closed down completely.
In Portugal, the online versions of the major regional daily newspapers also created sections for citizens participation, some of them using the word “journalism” or “reporter” in their denomination. But can we consider “journalism” the texts published on these spaces?
To answer this and other questions, an analysis of contents published by readers in the specific sections of four Portuguese daily newspapers was carried out. The main goal is to verify if there are characteristic elements in journalistic practice, i.e. if citizens do journalism in the spaces denominated as “citizen’s journalism”.


participation, citizens, sources, online journalism

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