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Planning an article submission

If I’m going to get a PhD by publication then I need to submit some articles.

My first thought for this thesis, was to start with the authority a citizen journalist needs to (overcome) when starting out. As advised in the book ‘How to get your thesis by publication’, you need a smaller dissertation than of full-thesis PhDs, which will tie it all together, but you also need to have a set of publications that are different but linked.

As I’ve explored the social media effects on local participation, I’ve come upon the fact that much of the social media is separate from ‘established’ or mainstream media. The social media I am looking at, primarily, is conducted by citizen journalists. Being a citizen journalist can be daunting.

Some questions raised by Daniel Jackson in relation to this are: what does it take to feel confident enough to take on that public voice? to speak a truth, to write an article, to ask questions of an authority, etc.?

We look at this through grassroots organisations that have come together for citizen journalism purposes.

I use my example of writing my first long-form investigative articles about the Labour administration in Bristol.

What difference does it make to have a newsroom experience and a hierarchy of establishment media, as opposed to starting up without any support or guidance?

How does knowing media law help? or how does not knowing media law hinder? How do citizen journalists know what to write about?

How do they assess what is newsworthy? What is of public interest?

  • Introduction
  • Methodology
  • Main text
  • Conclusion


Do citizen journalists need to believe they are making a difference in order to begin to internalise their position as ‘journalists’ and not just writers?

One definition of journalism is holding the centers of power to account (Amira Hass?)

How much feedback do you need as a journalist in order to feel like a journalist? See imposter syndrome:

In a mirrored fashion to a thesis by publication, the citizen journalist also may find themselves “‘going public’ at a very early stage of your research career — perhaps sometimes before you feel ready. (Lee 2010)

“Although going public is hard for anyone, it can be even harder if it is combined with ‘imposter syndrome’ — feelings of doubts and uncertainty about one’s capabilities. Kamler and Thomson’s description of the syndrome as ‘not feeling entitled to be known and seen as a researcher’ captures the core feature of this condition (2014, p.16).

Also see the reality of algorithms that privilege existing media over new media:

  • Filters on amplification exist and (Basu; Schlosberg) are the algorithms that define what gets shared and brought up on google, facebook, youtube, Twitter etc.
  • Gateways exist through which millions access news –“Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are among the new intermediaries through which millions of us access news. Justin Schlosberg (2016)
  • Manuel Castells (2009), though critical of global media corporations, argues that social networking sites offer the means of ‘mass self communication’. They enable users to produce meaning interactively. Anyone can tweet, post or upload a video.”
  • Gateways, however, tend to reinforce mainstream news brands.
  • Schlosberg (2016: 120–2) reveals that Google’s news algorithm systematically favours large-scale and incumbent providers.


Kamler, B., & Thomson, P. (2014) Helping doctoral students write: Pedagogies for supervision. New Yor, NY: Routledge.

Lee, A. (2010) When the article is the dissertation: Pedagogies for a PhD by publication. In C. Aitchison, B. Kamler, & A. Lee (Eds.), Publishing pedagogies for the doctorate and beyond (pp.12-29). London: Routledge.

bird with wings in the form of a book

Published by Joanna

A collection of fleeting thoughts that tend to focus around Bristol, food, movies, music and photography.

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