Comparative Essay


This comparative essay represents a common type of assignment in communication and media studies. Here, the writer is required to compare and contrast two assigned readings by Jönsson & Őrnebring and Wall & el Zahed. Don’t worry about such a type of assignment because our expert academic writers are highly experienced and intellectually equipped to complete the work for you. To have the assignment done on time, provide details on our order form HERE and our writers will take care of everything.


Question:

Compare and contrast the two assigned readings by Jönsson & Őrnebring and Wall & el Zahed. Describe the ways in which the two papers conceptualize the relationship between user-generated content and journalism, noting the similarities and differences in approaches. Clearly articulate an over-arching theme that functions as the basis for your comparison. Use APA citation style.


Answer:

Comparative Analysis Essay

Contents

Introduction. 2

The struggle by media houses to strike a balance between competing or contradictory functions. 3

Empowerment of the citizenry. 4

The future of citizen journalism in terms of democratic potential 5

Conclusion. 6

References. 7

 

Introduction

The aim of this essay is to compare and contrast two sources: Jo¨nsson & O¨ rnebring (2011) and Wall & El Zahed (2015). The aim the article by Jo¨nsson & O¨ rnebring (2011) is to determine whether user-generated content have affected the balance that traditional media has for a long time attempted to maintain, which involves reconciling the performance of a public function and the pursuit of commercial interests. Findings of the analysis suggest that users tend to be empowered to come up with popular culture-oriented content as well as personal-oriented content as opposed to informational content. On the other hand, the aim of the article by Wall & El Zahed (2015) is to investigate how citizen journalism emerged in Syria. Findings indicate that the main factors contributing to the emergence of the current pop-up news ecology in Syria include rapidity of its formation, a dearth of professional journalists, and assistance by external “connectors”, primarily the global news network that picked up news items created by Syrian citizen journalists.

ORDER YOUR NEXT PAPER HERE NOW!

To provide a candid description of the way the two papers conceptualize the relationship between user-generated content and journalism, this essay uses three themes as a basis for the comparison. The first theme is the way user-generated content or citizen journalism influences the struggle by media houses to strike a balance between competing or contradictory functions. The second theme is the empowerment of the citizenry through user-generated content. The third theme is the future of citizen journalism in terms of democratic potential

 

The struggle by media houses to strike a balance between competing or contradictory functions

Both articles have explained how the interactive news system characterized by increased use of content generated by citizens with no professional training in journalism has become integrated into global news networks. Moreover, they have highlighted the various ways in which user-generated content influences the ongoing struggle by media houses to balance between competing functions. For example Jo¨nsson & O¨ rnebring (2011) observe that for media houses, a major challenge since the adoption of the concepts of user-generated content and interactivity has been on how to strike a balance between performing a public function and pursuing commercial success. For the citizens who generate this content, the objective is primarily to come up with popular culture-oriented content as opposed to informational content. This is a major concern because the media houses have had to look for new ways of embedding user-generated content as part of interactive features without necessarily altering the way the existing media platforms have been maintaining a balance between information production function and the pursuit of commercial interests.

Wall & El Zahed (2015) also address the same issue by explaining how citizen journalism emerged in the Syrian authoritative space. During this emergence, the dearth of professional journalists created a situation where activist journalists morphed into street reporters albeit ones seeking to promote their revolutionary agenda (Wall & El Zahed, 2015). In this undertaking, the activist journalists were under pressure to strike a balance between their duty of producing news for the public and the world at large and promoting their revolutionary agenda. However, in the case of the article by Wall & El Zahed (2015), an additional factor is at play, and this entails efforts by the Syrian government muzzle the media at the start of the revolution. Wall & El Zahed (2015) indicate that in light of these circumstances, the rapidity in which citizen-generated content popped up was critical for the ultimate emergence of citizen journalism in the country. The content popped up after Syrian citizens started recording news events using the video cameras embedded to their phones and those recordings to various social media platforms (Wall & El Zahed, 2015). Mainstream global news networks picked up that content and a new pop-up news system was born (Salama, 2012).

Empowerment of the citizenry

Both articles address the issue of empowering the citizenry through user-generated content, but in a slightly different way. Findings of the study by Jo¨nsson & O¨ rnebring (2011) suggest that users are empowered to come up with content that is oriented to popular culture everyday life’s activities as opposed to informational content. In contrast, Wall & El Zahed (2015) argue that citizen journalism has empowered activists in Syria by inducting them into the world of network society at a time when the government was becoming increasingly authoritarian in its efforts to offset the gains made during the push for a revolution. Citizens in Syria were empowered because they became an integral part of a network society where mass self-communication could be used to facilitate access to a wealth of information to the outside world (Wall & El Zahed, 2015). Moreover, members of different publics across Syria were able to use networked journalism not just for the dissemination of information to the outside world but also for interactions with one another (Russell, 2011).

Need some assignments completed urgently? Sign-up now!

According to Wall & El Zahed (2015), the best example of how Syrians were empowered by the new system of gathering and disseminating news manifested itself at the onset of the uprising in 2011. When state media refused to report news regarding the numerous protests citizens were staging against the regime, the demonstrators made ingenious attempts to document the protest movement themselves (Wall & El Zahed, 2015). In contrast, Jo¨nsson & O¨ rnebring (2011) argue that user-generated content (UGC) does not really signal a shift in the exercise of power over media content as far as the mainstream online media is concerned. Although user-generated content leads to an increase in the level of interactivity and participation among citizens, this phenomenon does not necessarily empower them in any significant way (Jo¨nsson & O¨ rnebring, 2011). This is because the concept of UGC should be understood in the context of the public sphere and not just the relatively narrow prism of traditional journalism (Trenz, 2009).

The future of citizen journalism in terms of democratic potential

Both articles indicate that the future of citizen journalism is bright particularly in terms of democratic potential. According to Jo¨nsson & O¨ rnebring (2011), UGC has a bright future primarily because it has started to develop a strong element of interrelated ness with the contemporary political economy. In this political economy, users are of mainstream media are viewed as consumers, meaning that user-generated content is synthesized based on this conceptualization. Due to this engagement, participation, and interaction with the process of creating media content, any political messages that are communicated through media platforms containing this user-generated content are likely to reach a wider audience. Similarly, Wall & El Zahed (2015) suggest that citizen journalism will continue to thrive in Syria because it has continued to fill an information vacuum that was created by the authoritarian government since the start of the uprising in 2011.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the two articles provide an insightful analysis of two important concepts in journalism today: user-generated content and citizen journalism. In both articles, the authors emphasize the role of new media in empowering citizens as well as enhancing democratic potential. Some similarities are also inherent in terms of the way the authors highlight the contradictory functions media professionals must reconcile in light of the new media phenomena. However, the objectives that citizen journalists seek to achieve may vary depending on context. For example, Wall & El Zahed (2015) point out that in Syria, the objective of citizen journalists is to strike a balance between the revolutionary intent and the duty to inform the world about major happenings in the country. In contrast, journalists operating in contexts where user-generated content cannot be ignored must balance between performing their duty to deliver information to the public and the pursuit of commercial interests within the new media environment.

References

Jo¨nsson, A. & O¨ rnebring, H. (2011) User-Generated Content and the News: Empowerment of citizens or interactive illusion? Journalism Practice, 5(2), 127-144.

Russell, A. (2011). Networked: A Contemporary History of News in Transition. Malden, MA: Polity Press.

Salama, V. (2012). Covering Syria. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 17(4), 516–526.

Trenz, H. (2009). Digital Media and the Return of the Representative Public Sphere. Javnost: The Public 16(1), 33-46.

Wall, M & El Zahed, S. (2015). Syrian Citizen Journalism: A Pop-Up News Ecology in an Authoritarian Space. Digital Journalism, 3(5), 720–736.


 

Get a 15 % discount on an order above $ 30
Use the following coupon code :
tpc15
Our Services:
  • Essay
  • Custom Essays
  • Homework Help
  • Research Papers
  • Argumentative Essay
  • Assignment
  • College Papers
  • Powerpoint Presentation
  • Dissertation
  • Thesis Paper
  • Dissertation
  • Editing Services
  • Review Writing
  • Lab Report
  • Book Report
  • Article Critique
  • Case Study
  • Coursework
  • Term Paper
  • Personal Statement
Order a customized paper today!