The Pros and Cons of Pro-Am Journalism: Breaking News During the #BostonMarathon Bombing and Beyond

  • Stephen R. Barnard


This chapter considers successes and failures of professional and citizen journalists in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. After providing some context about the media response to the bombing and reviewing Twitter’s role in the process of reporting breaking news, this chapter compares and contrasts accounts published by professional media outlets with examples of collaborative, pro-am reporting. It focuses on Andrew Kitzenberg, a witness who became a source and correspondent for legacy news organizations after live-tweeting the manhunt. Such collaborative approaches to networked news reflect shifts in the mediatization of networked society, and thus, are of central importance to the future of American journalism. The chapter concludes by considering how convergence contributes to changes in journalistic practice, including sourcing, gatekeeping, and boundary maintenance.


Journalism Pro-am journalism Collaborative journalism Citizen journalism Breaking news Convergence Gatekeeping Boundary maintenance Twitter 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen R. Barnard
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologySt. Lawrence UniversityCantonUSA

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