Constructing participatory journalism as a scholarly object

M. Borger, A.M.J. van Hoof, I.C. Meijer, J. Sanders

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In this article, we investigate the emergence of ʺparticipatory journalismʺ as a scholarly object in the field of journalism studies. By conducting a genealogical analysis of 119 articles on participatory journalism, published between 1995 and September 2011, we analyze the development of scholarly ways of writing and thinking about participatory journalism over the years. Our genealogy reveals how the field of journalism studies constructs participatory journalism along the lines of four normative dimensions: ʺenthusiasm about new democratic opportunitiesʺ, ʺdisappointment with professional journalism’s obduracyʺ, ʺdisappointment with economic motives to facilitate participatory journalismʺ, and ʺdisappointment with news users’ passivityʺ. We argue these dimensions are inextricably linked with what ʺcountsʺ as journalism within journalism studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-134
Number of pages18
JournalDigital Journalism
Issue number1
Early online date14 Dec 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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