Research presented at International Symposium on Online Journalism

April 7th, 2011 | News | Alfred Hermida | No Comments

Co-author Alfred Hermida presented a paper drawing on the research for the Participatory Journalism book at the International Symposium on Online Journalism on April 2, 2011.

The paper (PDF), The Active Recipient: Participatory Journalism through the Lens of the Lippmann-Dewey Debate, draws on the perspectives of Walter Lippmann and John Dewey on the role of the media to frame how professional journalists view participatory journalism.

The slides and text from the presentation are available online:

The paper concludes that “that journalists see audiences as what we call ‘active recipients’ of news – somewhere between passive receivers and active creators of content. Users are expected to act when news happens and react when it is reported and published.

“As ‘active recipients;, audiences are framed:

  • As idea generators and observers of newsworthy events at the start of the journalistic process
  • Then in an interpretive role as commentators who reflect upon the material that has been produced.

“We suggest that the way participatory journalism has been adopted and implemented falls somewhere between Lippmann’s and Dewey’s view of the media.

“There are few indications journalism is becoming itself a more democratic process itself. But newspapers were providing greater opportunities for audiences to engage in the public discourse.

“Indeed, some journalists are intrigued by the possibilities of participatory journalism to enable more voices to be heard, and perhaps even fulfill deliberative ideals in a democratic society.”


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