Our convergent culture of participatory journalism

The future of journalism is happening now in the present. Convergence and the development of new technologies has allowed for a new audience to emerge, a participatory culture that is challenging traditional journalistic norms.

Author and philosopher Alain de Botton was interviewed on the Triple J Hack program today, speaking about current news practices and what we can do better to understand it. Interestingly, he announced that citizen journalism takes us to better places. Contemporary critics also argue that citizen journalism ask for a more reciprocal relationship with the reader, circulating conversation (Domingo et al 2008). Audiences are now active participants in the new era of digital news journalism.

No longer does society rely on mass media to transport information. Audiences now pass unmediated messages through communities as a way of by passing traditional Gatekeepers. The most notable example of this today is social media.

“Participatory journalism is a new model of journalism which implies that some of the insitiutionalised communication functions of agencies and journalists can be performed by individual society members and organised”. – David Domingo et al

In 2012 The Guardian released the ‘open journalism’ campaign. This advertisement provoked the debate surrounding the role of journalism in the modern world. Told through the story of the Three Little Pigs, with an aim to showcase the Guardian’s multimedia credentials and open journalism philosophy (Sweney 2012), the advertisement further emphaised how an event can become an issue through social media and the moral panic created through this medium. Furthermore this advertisement reiterates the notion of collective intelligence as one news item has no value, two news items generates potential, it isn’t until you gain a number of sources that information becomes credible (Button 2014).

Finally I’d like to leave you with this statement on Twitter in reply to Alan De Buttons interview.

The 24 hour news cycle slowly destroying well research and relevant journalism – @danielfisk84



Button, A D, 2014, Alan De Button on Hack, Radio interview, 25 March, Triple J, viewed on 25/03/2014, http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/hack/stories/s3971292.htm

Domingo, D et al, 2008, Participatory Journalism Practices in the Media and Beyond: An international comparative study of initiatives in in online newspapers, Journalism Practice, Vol 2, issue 3, pp326-342, accessed via Univeristy of Wollongong Summons 25/03/2014

Sweney, M 2012, Guardian TV ad kicks off ‘open journalism’ campaign, The Guardian, viewed 25 March 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/media/2012/feb/29/guardian-tv-ad-open-journalism


About Nicola Salter

Nicola. 21. UOW Graduate
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