Participatory Journalism


Do you think participatory journalism is, ... well, journalism?


That was the question recently asked to website visitors to Online Journalism Review, of which Media Man Australia is a regular contributor to.

Our reply is:

Participatory journalism is a real form of journalism…I'll tell you why, based on personal experience.

Media Man Australia www.mediaman.com.au, of which I am the founder, director and everything else, was in fact based on all of my off-line journalistic accomplishments, long before the website went live.

Far from being an online "blogger", the site is a portal for the media business, and also showcases the achievements of its founder, not by coincidence, as you may have guessed.

Like all journalists worth their salt, its important to be able to diversify when needed, and the Internet is an ideal platform for this.

As MMA states, the founder is a journalist, TV presenter, radio and Internet broadcaster. He also contributes to other websites that lend themselves to blogging.

What's interesting is that some of my best work was only published online, and not in "traditional" ways such as newspapers, magazines and journals.

How many of you know an "editor", and notice the apostasies, that just relishes in "binning"; ie tearing up and throwing away good work! Furthermore, how many of you have submitted fine articles, only to be told that they were too full-on, could get you into trouble, and the like.

Ah, my friends, this is where freedom of speech comes in, and what some are now referring to as "freedom of web". Just be prepared to back up your words and broadcasters, if asked.

In the past year its become apparent that some traditional publishers feel threatened by online journalism, and the smart ones have established their own news media websites, such as www.smh.com.au and even "bloggers", like http://weblogs.jupiterresearch.com and http://fourth-estate.com, although the corporate look and feel remains.

To the would be participatory journalist - ensure you get published via traditional means first, at least when you start off on the journalism road, and an official accreditation from a media union or credentials from an academic institution wouldn't go a miss either. As a further safeguard, read your work to your friends, family and other good communicators, before you send your work away to cyberspace.

As the late, great media critic stated, "Freedom of the press belongs to the man who owns one". The Internet has further changed the rules, and continues to do so.

Effectively, most people in the modern world now have the means to get published, and for the sake of the media business, lets hope and pray that the authors maintain some decent standard of editorial process.

Links:

What is Participatory Journalism, by J.D. Lasica - Online Journalism Review

Media Man Australia: Blogging section