J-School: Educating Independent Journalists

“If tools could make anyone who picked them up an expert, they’d be valuable indeed.” Plato, The Republic

Mapping the Participatory Journalistic Field

Posted by chanders on February 26, 2005

How can we begin to draw a "map" of the participatory journalistic field? Here are some initial metrics:

1. Degree of "participatory-ness": How much do real "citizen journalists" actually contribute to the p.j. organization? For example, perhaps a web site has paid editors and uses citizen journalists as merely stringers or in a supplementary sense. Or, on the other hand, perhaps citizen journalists provide all of the  content, including the featured content.

2. Degree of "journalistic-ness": To what degree do p.j. organizations practice "journalism" in the traditional sense; i.e., do their writers go out, interview, dig thorugh documents, give eyewiteness accounts? Or do they simply link to other news that has been reported my the media already and discuss it?

3. Ties to social movements: Do what degree is a p.j. outlet tied to a social movement, and to what degree does it purport to be an "objective" reporter of news?

4. Authority: Need to do more thinking on this one. But there’s been some interesting work done on blogging and authority (<a href=http://overstated.net/04/05/24-weblogs-and-authority>here</a> for example) and this would seem to be an important thing to figure out.

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