Expecting reciprocity: Towards a model of the participants' perspective on participatory journalism
Hoof, A.M.J. van
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This study examines ‘participatory journalism’ from the perspective of participants. Through a series of in-depth interviews with 32 participants from two different participatory journalistic environments set up by professional news organizations, we investigated how participants view and evaluate their participation in journalism. We propose that participants views progress through a series of four stages: anticipation, participation, evaluation and reconsideration. A clear breach is observed between the stage of anticipation and evaluation. We propose that this breach could be couched in terms of both a need and a wish for reciprocity, but also a lack of it. The term ‘reciprocity’ is inspired by Lewis et al.’s notion of ‘reciprocal journalism’ and Loosen and Schmidt’s conceptualization of journalism as a ‘social system’. Implications for the study of participatory journalism and journalism practitioners are discussed.