Beyond the Pro/Am Schism Opportunities for Collaboration between Professional  and Citizen Journalists under a Produsage F...
Citizen Journalism <ul><li>Common themes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>deliberative journalism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>gre...
Industrial Journalism <ul><li>Common themes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>comprehensive coverage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>i...
Experts and Amateurs <ul><li>Case study:  Possums  Pollytics  during the 2007 Australian election </li></ul><ul><ul><li>bl...
Citizens and Journalists <ul><li>Beyond ‘us vs. them’ mentality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>citizens as sources ( b readth of co...
Extending News Coverage citizen journalism b d t industry journalism
New News Models <ul><li>Beyond news production – enabling citizen participation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>more space for invo...
News Produsage <ul><li>Produsage : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing c...
Shameless Plug snurb.info gatewatching.org produsage.org
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Beyond the Pro/Am Schism: Opportunities for Collaboration between Professional and Citizen Journalists under a Produsage Framework

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Paper presented by Axel Bruns at the CCi conference, Brisbane, 25-27 June 2008.

Published in: News & Politics, Education
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Beyond the Pro/Am Schism: Opportunities for Collaboration between Professional and Citizen Journalists under a Produsage Framework

  1. 1. Beyond the Pro/Am Schism Opportunities for Collaboration between Professional and Citizen Journalists under a Produsage Framework Dr Axel Bruns Media & Communication Queensland University of Technology a.bruns@qut.edu.au – snurb.info
  2. 2. Citizen Journalism <ul><li>Common themes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>deliberative journalism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>greater role for commenting and discussion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>but: fragmented, inconclusive, easily distracted </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>hyperlocal coverage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>covering themes and places ignored by the mainstream </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>but: interest horizon limits comprehensive coverage </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Estate 4.5” (Jane Singer) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>a watchdog for the watchdogs – gatewatching, not gatekeeping </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>but: limited in its effects, despite well-known successes </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Industrial Journalism <ul><li>Common themes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>comprehensive coverage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>industry structure supports long-term investigative journalism projects </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>but: decline in funding and staffing, increased reliance on newswires </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>professional ethics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>objectivity and impartiality as key ideals of journalism </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>but: no more than ideals, due to commercial and political pressures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>journalists as dedicated experts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>quality sources, quality research, quality writing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>but: routine worldviews, limited insight into complex topics </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Experts and Amateurs <ul><li>Case study: Possums Pollytics during the 2007 Australian election </li></ul><ul><ul><li>blogger specialising in psephology (analysis of public opinion polls) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>rose to wider recognition in public stoushes with The Australian ’s election analysts (esp. Dennis Shanahan) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ sheltered academics and failed journalists who would not get a job on a real newspaper”; “ we understand Newspoll because we own it” (12 July 2007) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ statistical bloggers forever complain … and essentially want polls to be banished from newspapers and public debate except during an election” (21 Feb. 2008) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who’s the expert here? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>cf. Dan Gillmor: “my readers know more than I do” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>professional journalists vs. amateur journalists, but also </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>professional psephologists vs. (very) amateur psephologists </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> scientific expertise (in psephology) trumps expert craftsmanship (in journalism) </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Citizens and Journalists <ul><li>Beyond ‘us vs. them’ mentality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>citizens as sources ( b readth of coverage): </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>first-hand witnesses from ‘hyperlocal’ places and fields </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>citizens as experts ( d epth): </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>in-depth knowledge of specialist domains </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>citizens as organisers (length over t ime): </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ongoing management of information flows </li></ul></ul></ul>b d t dimensions of news coverage
  6. 6. Extending News Coverage citizen journalism b d t industry journalism
  7. 7. New News Models <ul><li>Beyond news production – enabling citizen participation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>more space for involvement of users as content creators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>more fluid roles of involvement in news processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ a small cathedral” supporting a large bazaar ( Ian Skerrett ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>status of contributors determined more by track record than by position (active participation, not static expertise) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> equipotential, heterarchical organisation of the news process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Beyond news as product – enabling news extensibility: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>news reports flexible, not finished at time publication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>discussion and commentary as standard element of any news story </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>news as product  news as process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>journalism as profession / craft  journalism as capacity / skill </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. News Produsage <ul><li>Produsage : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement (e.g. open source, Wikipedia , …) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>some key principles: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>communal evaluation of contributions and contributors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>fluid heterarchy of participants as determined by ad hoc meritocracy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>continuing process of content creation with unfinished artefacts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> reshaping of news from conflict stories to information dossiers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>repositioning of journalists from sole authors to community leaders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>early examples: OhmyNews – Youdecide2007 – Off the Bus – myHeimat </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Shameless Plug snurb.info gatewatching.org produsage.org

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