Citizen Journalism: An Analysis of News Representation in the Coverage of

© Media Watch 10 (2) 294-308, 2019

ISSN 0976-0911 e-ISSN 2249-8818

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2019/v10i2/49640

Citizen Journalism: An Analysis of News Representation in the Coverage of

Nareshchandra Rai, Sarah Pedersen, & Fiona Smith

Robert Gordon University, UK


This article analyses the discussion of nationality and ethnicity on a Bhutanese citizen journalism site which is particularly used by members of the Lhotshampa ethnic group. Many of the citizen journalists are based outside Bhutan, either in refugee camps in Nepal or as part of a worldwide diaspora. Writers on the site tackle issues relating to a nation, people, culture, and history, particularly that of Bhutan and the Bhutanese people. By criticizing accepted sources and the mainstream media and re-interpreting Bhutanese history, this group of citizen journalists works to assert the Lhotshampa people as rightful citizens of Bhutan and to re-identify other ethnic groups in power in Bhutan as migrants. Bhutan is argued to be a country where all peoples are migrants, and at the same time, diasporic writers remind their readers of why they left Bhutan and look to a better future in their new countries.


Keywords: Citizen journalism, refugees, Bhutan, articles, Lhotshampa, SAARC countries


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Nareshchandra Rai (Ph.D., Robert Gordon University, UK, 2016) is a researcher investigating online news media. His doctoral research is concerned with the phenomenon of citizen journalism in the member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC). His interest areas include online news media and journalism and media practices in non-Western countries.

Sarah Pedersen is a Professor of Communication and Media at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. Her research interests are focused on digital media and women’s use of media. She has published on gendered blogging, teens’ use of the media, politicians and digital media and also has an interest in the history of the media.

Fiona Smith is a senior lecturer in the Department of Communication, Marketing and Media at Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen where she currently teaches cultural and media theory and previously taught journalism.  Her current research focuses on fan culture in online communities and the digital representation of abandoned spaces.