The characteristics of Citizen Journalism in the Sultanate of Oman, during 2021
This study aims to reveal the characteristics of semi-institutional citizen journalism in the Sultanate of Oman by analyzing (10) social media accounts on "Twitter" of citizen journalists, which is one of the most important and widely used forms by citizen journalists. The study relies on the public sphere theory using media survey methodology via content analysis tool during the period of 1 to 31st of January 2021 and analyzed 1440 tweets posted during that period.
The study revealed that citizen journalists are interested in publishing local news of a political nature by using the news template. The news function performed by tweets was the most common among the study sample.
The study pointed out that citizen journalists use the "Arabic" language more than any other language. Moreover, the study sample tended to use media patterns and images with text mode.
The study indicated the lack of use the feature of reference, links, and hashtags, and regarding interaction features such as: reply, re-tweet, and like, the citizen journalists tended to use the "like" feature more.
The study revealed that the practice of citizen journalism on social media platforms in Oman is not dedicated to specialists in the media field but is available to everyone who has the tools and time to practice it.
The study revealed the agreement of the characteristics of citizen journalism in the Sultanate of Oman with the characteristics of the public sphere identified by Habermas. These accounts allow all audiences to access, participate, and express their opinions, freely. On the other hand, those responsible for these accounts are completely reluctant to express their opinion on the events they cover, which limits the ability of citizen journalism in the Sultanate of Oman to become a real public sphere in which society’s events and issues are freely discussed.
Keywords: Citizen Journalism; Oman; Social Media; Public Sphere Theory.