This is going to be an exciting Spring, with some big projects seeing the fruit of months of work. I am specially fond of the research project on audience participation management in online newspapers. We did interviews with news editors and community managers of 24 newsrooms in 10 countries in Europe, North America and Israel. The team included Jane Singer, Alfred Hermida, Ari Heinonen, Thorsten Quandt, Zvi Reich, Marina Vujnovic, and me.
In few weeks, the book summarizing the results of the study will be available: Participatory Journalism: Guarding Open Gates at Online Newspapers. Alfred Hermida presented some of the conclusions at the recent International Symposium on Online Journalism in Austin, Texas, and the reactions on Twitter show that the research is welcomed as much needed. Beyond the hype about audience participation and citizen journalism, we tried to assess how journalists perceive this trends and how they manage user-generated content in practical terms. We found that they try to resist empowering the audience, therefore keeping the gatekeeper role of the journalist and in many cases setting participation opportunities as separate playgrounds for the users, separate from news production.
We have also published several articles in scientific journals in the process of producing this study. Check them out!
Vujnovic, M.; Singer, J.; Paulussen, S; Heinonen, A.; Reich, Z.; Quandt, T.; Hermida, A.; Domingo, D. (2010). Exploring the political-economic factors of participatory journalism: a first look into self-reports by online journalists and editors in ten countries. Journalism Practice, 4(3), 285-296. [Abstract, PDF]
Domingo, D., Quandt, T., Heinonen, A., Paulussen, S., Singer, J., Vujnovic, M. (2008) Participatory journalism practices in the media and beyond: an international comparative study of initiatives in online newspapers. Journalism Practice, 2(3), 680-704. [Abstract, PDF]
Paulussen, S., Heinonen, A., Domingo, D. & Quandt, T. (2007). “Doing it together: Citizen participation in the professional news making process”. Observatorio (OBS*) Journal, 1(3):131-154. [PDF]