The Influence of Citizen Journalism in the Practice and Profession of Journalism in Zimbabwe

Abstract

Citizen journalism has been widely cited as revolving the field of journalism especially in Zimbabwe where traditional media is said to be exclusive due to the styles of newswriting such as the inverted pyramid style which is elitist. In citizen journalism anyone can be a journalist and this poses a threat to the practice and profession of journalism. In an effort to revolutionalise mainstream media in Zimbabwe, digital survival strategies have been employed by newspapers where people can now read newspapers online. Traditional journalism has been heavily criticised by many scholars as failing to play its watchdog role by being elitist, focusing on political figures in a society at the expense of ordinary people. It is alleged that what makes news are the powerful people who misuse the media for their own self-centered advances at the expense of ordinary people in a society. The public media is used as a political party’s sharpest weapon for propaganda purposes as suggested by Epp Lauk and Kreegipuu (2010). The contention by scholars that the practice and  profession of many journalists and media are as dishonest as are different political parties with regard to how they frame, articulate and signify the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe results in incompatible insights and worldviews by the general populace. This then brings the main thrust of the study to ascertain how citizen journalism purports to be practicing good journalism.  A qualitative research methodology was used for this study which was informed by a constructivist philosophy. In constructivism reality is subjective as people are prone to have different interpretations regarding a particular phenomenon. The study was informed by the Public Sphere theory as well as the Democratic Participant Media theory. To ensure trustworthiness of data, triangulation of data sources and data generation techniques was done.

Keywords: Citizen Journalism, Journalism, Practice of Journalism, Profession of Journalism


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 42-51 (Download PDF)

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