Background This article explores the complexity of citizen participation in social media and crowdsourced journalism by utilizing the case of r/SyrianCivilWar, the sub-community of Reddit where users discuss the Syrian crisis. Analysis In examining the limitations and affordances of the platform, the article identifies features that characterize the r/SyrianCivilWar community, namely: algorithmic driven public discourse, deliberative communication, reflexivity and transparency, and database journalism. These features shape the functioning of the community and have broader implications for citizen crowdsourced journalism projects. Conclusion and implications The article demonstrates that alternative media practices, such as crowdsourced journalism, are limited in their capacity to reach mainstream consciousness. In the commodified landscape of media, portability-a capacity for complex issues to be distilled into a simple or simplified concept-is made important.

Citizen journalism, Crowdsourcing, Portability, Reddit, Social media, Syria
Canadian Journal of Communication
School of Journalism and Communication

Mitchell, S.S.D. (Scott S.D.), & Lim, M. (2018). Too crowded for crowdsourced journalism: Reddit, portability, and citizen participation in the Syrian crisis. Canadian Journal of Communication, 43(3), 399–419. doi:10.22230/cjc.2018v43n3a3377