Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


School of Journalism and Broadcasting

Additional Departmental Affiliation

Honors Academy- (Honors Self-Design Major)

Document Type



The purpose of this thesis is to analyze what effect, if any, citizen journalism is having on journalism and ethics in today’s society. It starts by examining the role citizen journalism played in the early American colonies to show that the concept of citizen journalism is not new but has played a vital role throughout American history. Next, the focus shifts to the events and reasons that led to the re-emergence of citizen journalism during the past few decades, such as media consolidation and new technology. The thesis then highlights a few of the major issues that surround citizen journalism today, notably with regards to the federal shield law debate. From these evaluations, the conclusion will argue what kind of overall effect citizen journalism has on the journalism field and its ethical signature, as well as whether citizen journalism and traditional media can co-exist and complement each another.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Professor Gordon McKerral


Arts and Humanities