We are watching you
: citizen journalism and accountability

  • Jonas Maximilian Rudolf Lüder (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Digital media reduces costs but also increases competition. Nowadays, costly reporting and the coverage of niche news are no longer cost-effective for publishing houses. I formulate hypotheses to test for reporting differences between citizen journalists and professional journalists. Specifically, this work aims to investigate for the intergroup differences of journalists when reporting topics of corporate misconduct. Differences in covering corporate misconduct seem to be not significant. However, with a sample of 665,507 observations, I state that citizen journalists do fill the gap by publishing articles complementary in topic to professional journalistic posts. The readership is significantly more attracted by news reporting containing names of companies that are published by citizen journalists. Furthermore, I control for article parameters such as length, pictures and comments which according to literature evoke more readership attention. The theory this research elaborates is to hold.By operationalizing and controlling articles for keywords expressing corruption and for selected company names, I conclude that their use significantly increases readership attention. Based on the following analysis, I suggest that (1) digital newspapers should more actively include the public sphere in their portfolio by offering social platforms that enable participation, which in turn is incentivized by a rating index. In addition, (2) large corporates should include citizens as a sounding board for efficient communication due to their proximity to the public.
Date of Award3 Feb 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorChristian Peukert (Supervisor)


  • Citizen journalism
  • Corruption
  • Accountability
  • Corporate misconduct
  • Readership attention


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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