Motivation Factors in Crowdsourced Journalism: Social Impact, Social Change, and Peer Learning

Tanja Aitamurto


This article examines participants’ motivation factors to contribute to crowdsourced journalism. Drawing on interviews from cases in which professional journalists used crowdsourcing as a knowledge-search method, the article shows the primary motivation factors are intrinsic, altruistic, and ideological. By sharing information, the crowd wants to contribute to social change and mitigate power and knowledge asymmetries, thus empowering their peers and creating a more informed citizenry. Peer learning and deliberation also drive participation. Participants don’t expect tangible rewards like money; instead, they want to contribute to a better society, and crowdsourced journalism becomes a medium for social change and grassroots advocacy. These motivation factors resemble some of those driving Wikipedia creation. The idea of a more equitable society, created by collective knowledge sharing, also drives the participation in crowdsourced journalism.


commons-based peer production, crowdsourcing, crowdsourced journalism, digital journalism, motivation factors, open journalism, open knowledge, participatory journalism

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