"It’s Genuine, as Opposed to Manufactured": A Study of UK News Audiences’ Attitudes Towards Eyewitness Media

In 10 focus groups conducted in various locations around the UK, we explored audience members’ awareness of and attitudes towards the manner in which eyewitness media is gathered, verified, and used by journalists.

We asked participants the following six questions:

  1. What qualities do eyewitness media bring to news output? 
  2. How do they see the importance of verifying eyewitness media? 
  3. What is their attitude towards the importance of crediting eyewitness media?
  4. To what extent do they feel news organisations have an obligation to label eyewitness media?
  5. What are their attitudes towards the process through which journalists seek permission to use eyewitness media on social media?
  6. What reservations do they have about eyewitness media in the news?

For deep insight into their responses, download this Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism report, "It’s Genuine, as Opposed to Manufactured": A Study of UK News Audiences’ Attitudes towards Eyewitness Media.

Author: Pete Brown

Pete Brown is co-founder and lead researcher at Eyewitness Media Hub. Last year he worked alongside Dr. Claire Wardle and Sam Dubberley on a major content and production study of eyewitness media in broadcast news, funded by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia University. More recently he completed a follow-up study of online news, analysing 28,000 pages from eight major newspaper websites and interviewing uploaders whose content was found during the research. Pete holds a PhD from Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies.


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