This book examines two new roles that journalists assume in a participatory media environment – the administration (moderation) of online discussion and the monitoring of and engagement in comments below their articles. Based on a three-year ethnographic study, the book argues that as media organizations face a crisis in their ability to represent the public, the challenge is to orchestrate participatory journalism as a collective accomplishment in which everyone is not a journalist but everyone can be a contributor.
A collaborative relationship between citizen journalists and professional journalists has long been an aspiration for many media scholars. While tensions surrounding professional control are signiﬁcant, scholars also have to consider the structural dynamics of content online and across social media networks, particularly in an era of the corporatized and commercialized Web. The rise of social discovery tools and algorithms is also addressed. This article aims to bring to light these concerns and moves the conversation about citizen journalism forward by proposing a model that identiﬁes the pathway through which news organizations gather, select, package, and disseminate citizen journalism content.
As Ben DeJarnette writes in the kick-off piece to this special series, “There perhaps was no journalistic buzzword more widely discussed in 2015 than ‘engagement.’” The series, writes DeJarnette, was inspired by Experience Engagement, a four-day participatory “un-conference” hosted by Journalism That Matters and the Agora Journalism Center. Over the next two weeks, this series will explore the progress, promise and potential challenges of community engagement in journalism.