The promise and practice of participatory journalism

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The slides from my keynote at the Screen Futures conference in Melbourne, Australia, on July 10 2011.

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The promise and practice of participatory journalism

  1. Alfred Hermida Associate professor University of British Columbia Screen Futures Melbourne July 10 2011 The promise and practice of participatory journalism
  2. Participatory journalism circa 1690
  3. <ul><li>People are combining powerful technological tools and innovative ideas, fundamentally altering the nature of journalism in this new century. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dan Gillmor, We Media, 2003 </li></ul></ul>Participatory journalism
  4. We media <ul><li>“ The act of a citizen, or group of citizens, playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information” </li></ul>http://www.flickr.com/photos/tochis/
  5.  
  6. That MITCHELL AND WEBB LOOK
  7. Promise vs practice? http://www.flickr.com/photos/haagsuitburo/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/claudio_ar/
  8. <ul><li>Interviews with 67 online journalists </li></ul><ul><li>More than two dozen leading newspapers in 10 Western democracies </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative data analysis to identify key themes </li></ul><ul><li>Eight researchers in seven countries </li></ul>Project overview
  9. <ul><li>Access/observation : Initial info-gathering stage. </li></ul><ul><li>Selecting/filtering : ‘Gate-keeping’ stage where decisions are made on what to report or publish. </li></ul><ul><li>Processing/editing : Story is created and edited. </li></ul><ul><li>Distribution : Story is disseminated. </li></ul><ul><li>Interpretation : Published story opened up to comment or discussion. </li></ul>news production stages
  10. <ul><li>What's interesting for journalists is to have contributions that really relate to news, of the witness type. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Editor, France </li></ul></ul><ul><li>During breaking news, inviting your readers to chime in and add their observations is useful. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online editor, Canada </li></ul></ul>Most opeN: access/observation
  11. <ul><li>Not terribly well-thought through or just vitriolic. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Editor, Canada </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make lots of voices, including ones we don’t agree with, heard. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Editor, UK </li></ul></ul>Most open: interpretation
  12. <ul><li>Access/observation : Initial info-gathering stage. </li></ul><ul><li>Selecting/filtering : ‘Gate-keeping’ stage where decisions are made on what to report or publish. </li></ul><ul><li>Processing/editing : Story is created and edited. </li></ul><ul><li>Distribution : Story is disseminated. </li></ul><ul><li>Interpretation : Published story opened up to comment or discussion. </li></ul>Most closed
  13. Shifts in the newsroom http://www.flickr.com/photos/bwalsh/
  14. <ul><li>Community manager </li></ul><ul><li>Comment moderator </li></ul>New roles http://www.flickr.com/photos/alessandrocalza/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/gaspi/
  15. <ul><li>Community manager </li></ul>New roles <ul><li>It’s new, it’s a complex but enriching role. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Editor, France </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Explain to users, show users or encourage users to explore what’s possible in terms of interaction. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Community editor, UK </li></ul></ul>http://www.flickr.com/photos/alessandrocalza/
  16. <ul><li>Comment moderator </li></ul>New roles <ul><li>A journalist shouldn’t be spending half his time reading comments on his stories, or we would never get through it. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online editor, France </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We rely on the community to police itself. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online editor, USA </li></ul></ul>http://www.flickr.com/photos/gaspi/
  17. <ul><li>Conventional role </li></ul><ul><li>Dialogical role </li></ul><ul><li>Ambivalent role </li></ul>Shifts in self-perception http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevelevi/
  18. <ul><li>Journalism remains journalism, and it’s not going to change its fundamentals. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online editor, Canada </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What we have to offer as our brand is a newspaper and a site that can be trusted. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Editor, USA </li></ul></ul>Conventional role http://www.flickr.com/photos/mharrsch/
  19. <ul><li>It’s always been a conversation. It’s just that [journalists] never heard the other side of it. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Community editor, UK </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We have a lot of work to do there, to repair the relationship, to regain people’s trust. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Editor, USA </li></ul></ul>DIALOGICAL ROLE http://www.flickr.com/photos/cnxjj/
  20. <ul><li>Professional media are and will be necessary, even if there are thousands or hundreds of thousands of readers eager to send in, comments, participate in polls, take photos... Both will live side by side. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online editor, Spain </li></ul></ul>AMBIVALENT ROLE http://www.flickr.com/photos/solidether/
  21. Perceptions of the audience http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthewfield/
  22. <ul><li>Our journalists say they increasingly get tips from readers, especially for local news. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Editor, Belgium </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Citizens are like little springs of clear water. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Editor, Spain </li></ul></ul>Users as Information sources http://www.flickr.com/photos/helgabj/
  23. <ul><li>The performers on the stage are after the applause. That’s what we want. We want the applause. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Editor, Canada </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Control remains in the hands of journalists, who launch the debate. Users react. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Editor, France </li></ul></ul>Users as Commentators
  24. <ul><li>Giving our customers a place on the web to go meet like-minded people. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Editor, UK </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We look at community tools as a way to… get people coming back and also keeping them on the site for longer. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Editor, Canada </li></ul></ul>Users as community http://www.flickr.com/photos/mwparenteau/
  25. <ul><li>There should be a multiplication of calls to the audience, but this doesn’t mean getting readers to write articles. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Editor, France </li></ul></ul>Users as Co-workers http://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/
  26. Fortress journalism http://www.flickr.com/photos/gordontarpley/
  27. Active recipients http://www.flickr.com/photos/eole/
  28. Thank you <ul><li>All royalties go to Reporters Without Borders </li></ul>E: [email_address] T: @hermida W: www.participatoryjournalism.org

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