Television networks in many European countries have launched web participation channels in recent years, so that viewers can send a variety of news content. For some authors, they are a new form of “citizen journalism”; a more proper term for this concept, it is argued, seems to be “user generated content”. This article deals with the essential aspects of this kind of participatory journalism in television websites, by analysing the initiatives of several television networks in Spain, Great Britain and France. It examines the nature of user generated content in those television websites case studies, and it enquires to what extent these initiatives can be regarded as “citizen journalism” and what kind of content they promote. Finally, it explores the challenges and opportunities posed by citizen journalism and user generated content to professional online television news.
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