Keywords: Citizen journalism, Disaster, Digital media, Grassroots information, Local community
The use of digital media has expanded the opportunities for citizens to participate in the production of news. The paper investigates citizen journalism in extra-ordinary contexts, focusing on the L’Aquila earthquake. Through semi-structured interviews, it analyzes the motivations that pushed citizens to produce grassroots information. The findings highlight that citizens’ narrative was born from the desire to: a) contrast traditional media; b) document the ‘real’ condition of the city; 3) create a ‘glue’ for re-establishing the bonds broken due to the earthquake, online. Among the obstacles faced, the interviews point to strong fragmentation, lack of funding and poor visibility of content.