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Who's reporting the protests?: converging practices of citizen journalists and two BBC World Service newsrooms, from Iran’s election protests to the Arab uprisings

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The 2009 protests in Iran and the 2011 Arab uprisings took place in complex and fast evolving media ecologies. The BBC's Persian and Arabic language services, which reach millions, drew heavily on content created by ordinary citizens to cover events. This paper traces the flow of this content through the news process to examine how collaboration between newsrooms and citizen journalists changed from 2009 to 2011. The article argues that participation in the news process hinges on the congruence between newsroom practices, and the practices of those producing content on the streets. Such congruence requires mutual knowledge of broadcasting requirements. It finds that by 2011 journalists felt more comfortable and effective integrating user-generated content (UGC) into their news output. Importantly, UGC creators appear to have taken on board the broadcaster's editorial requirements, making them savvier content creators.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/41674/

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