NYU Press Critic, Jay Rosen, offers Ten Radical Things About the Weblog Form in Journalism. Our favorite is Number 10: “Journalism traditionally assumes that democracy is what we have, information is what we seek. Whereas in the weblog world, information is what we have — it’s all around us — and democracy is what we seek.”
Rosen asks his readers to extend the list, so here’s 5 more we came up with (excerpted from Chapter 6 of our We Media whitepaper on participatory journalism):
11. Involving an audience, either small or large, in the creation of content also gives them a sense of ownership — an affinity with the media brand that they believe they are not getting today — as well as a more intimate relationship with the storytellers.
12. Collaborating and having a conversation with audience members is sure to provide an even more meaningful and memorable experience than passive consumption of news.
13. Today’s kids expect their media to offer a two-way street of communication. Weblogs, by increasing interactivity and enabling audience participation have an additional benefit — attracting a younger audience, the next generation of news consumers.
14. Reporters who write weblogs and collaborate with their audiences in various ways ultimately write more compelling and accurate stories. One reason is that listening to and collaborating with your audience helps to develop a broader base of sources who are experts in wide-ranging subject matter.
15. Adopting various forms of participatory journalism will increase the importance of your company’s hub in the network economy. By increasing the number of connections — though weblogs, forums, XML syndication and collaborative publishing engines — the strength of a media company’s node is enhanced.
Last, we’d like to offer an amendment to Rosen’s Number 9, which states: “In journalism classically understood, information flows from the press to the public. In the weblog world as it is coming to be understood, information flows from the public to the press.” Perhaps equally important, information flows among the public, without the press acting as intermediary.
• Track on Blogdex
• What’s Conservative About the Weblog Form in Journalism?: Rosen’s follow-up list, asking “what’s “old” about the new?”
I agree with all points. And I would add that blogging is a many-to-many form of communication, as opposed to one-to-many.
A great number of the letters-to-the-editor that I read in any newspaper includes some note on “objectivity” and “balance.” If it is true that balance is what most people construe to mean objectivity, then a follow-up number to your #14 might be that participatory journalism can lead to not only more “compelling and accurate stories,” but it can also lead to more balanced stories --- stories that would appear more “objective.”