Participatory Journalism and practices in the media and beyond discusses a contemporary, alternative view of sourcing media which is referred to as ‘Public Journalism’- a model which asks ‘for a more reciprocal relationship between reporters and their audience, suggesting news should be a conversation rather than a lecture’. I will use this outlook to supplement my thoughts on ‘the future of journalism’- whilst I investigate what the future of this industry will entail, who it will involve, and how it will be defined.
Concepts of participatory journalism, co-creation, active audiences, and uses of crowd-sourcing are becoming more and more prominent within the business and media landscape of ‘now’. Media convergence and the influence of social media have transformed the relationship between texts and audiences in market, professional and social contexts (Vujnovic, 2008).
YouTube as a platform for sharing and viewing clips can be used to illustrate this contemporary shift in audience relationship and participation. In this context, the journalists or producers of the content, and the audiences who consume the content, are not two separate factions. The users of the platform are one dynamic group of consumers, producers, journalists, artists, creators and viewers.
This same model of Participatory Journalism is painted through online forums and blogs whereby users create and use concurrently. Reality programs such as Big Brother represent this model in the way audiences play a part in the creation of the show and determining its final result. Large corporations such as Nike and Starbucks also implement audience participation in the design of their products and services through use of crowd sourcing and co-creation in their developments (Witell, 2011).
These trends, evident within current media and business affairs, shed light on the changing scope of audience relationship and participation, and the increasing inability to define what the term audience or journalism can be used to describe in modern media studies. I will leave you with the suggestion that, quite possibly, it could be the inability to no longer define what the term means that truly defines the future of journalism- and what lies beyond the horizon of the current media landscape.
The above image is a collection of screenshots taken from Instagram, when #audience is typed into the search bar. The collection depicts the diversification of what individuals view as being an ‘audience’ and what contexts these audiences are being placed in- again suggesting what lies ahead for the future of journalism, and how audience types will have impact on this.
Idea Generation: Customer Co-creation versus Traditional Market Research Techniques, Witell, et al, Journal of Services Management, Vol 22, No.2, 2011, pp 140-159.
John V. Pavlik, 2013, “Innovation And The Future of Journalism”, Digital Journalism, 1:2, 181-193.
Singer and Marina Vujnovic, 2008, “Participatory Journalism Pratices in The Media And Beyond,” Journalism Practice, 2:3, 326-342.