Between idiosyncratic self-interests and professional standards: A contribution to the understanding of participatory journalism in Web 2.0. Results from an online survey in Germany

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Not much is known about participatory journalists in Germany or further afield. We conducted a standardized quantitative online survey of participatory journalists at the German-language website myheimat, a German-based hyperlocal participatory journalism portal with about 37,000 contributors (as at September 2010). The purpose of the survey was to examine the individual characteristics of participatory journalists (sociodemographics, expertise, qualification and gender aspects). The survey also explored why they write articles for myheimat (societal/individual motivations), what they think about their role and function as grassroots journalists (identity/self-concept), what they know and what they think about established editorial practices (attitudes toward traditional professional journalism), how they think about their audience and how they differ in all these aspects from traditional professional journalists-if at all. Our results contribute to the understanding of the participatory system in general and of the forces behind the enormous popularity of participatory journalism, as well as its conditions and its future development.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1063
Number of pages23
Journal Journalism : theory, practice & criticism
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


Research priority areas of TU Dresden


  • citizen journalism, collaborative content production, hyperlocal media, online survey, participatory journalism, participatory media, user-generated content