Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Career and Technology Education (MCTE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Community and Leadership Development

First Advisor

Dr. Seungahn Nah


Through in-depth interviews with 12 regular contributors to the Lexington-Herald Leader’s website,, this study attempts to examine how online citizen journalists view the definitions of citizen and professional journalism, as compared to Singer’s three dimensions of professionalism (i.e., cognitive, normative, and evaluative dimensions) as well as their perceived role conceptions of professional and citizen journalists, using Weaver and Wilhoit’s four roles of journalists. Analyses reveal that the main difference in the definitions of the two types of journalists revolved around the cognitive dimension, specifically the education and training that professionals receive. The role conceptions of professional and citizen journalists were similar, with the both groups being described as serving the interpretive/investigative and disseminator roles. The roles of citizen journalists also included the adversarial and populist mobilizer roles.