Posted by: marlenebarbera | November 29, 2016

Toward an Ideal of Participatory Journalism

Lewis, Holton and Coddington, lay out a case for a journalism framed by reciprocal relationshipse that create a way to explore the realm of reciprocity in journalism, in  Reciprocal Journalism.

 Reciprocal journalism  points to the unrealized potential for a participatory journalism that has mutual benefit in mind, that is not merely fashioned to suit a news organization’s interests but also takes citizens’ concerns to heart.

I have personally watched this play out on my alma mater’s alumni created facebook page which was infiltrated by current students deriding alumni perspectives as insufficiently ‘woke’ in common parlance. Alumni responded with ire, experiencing the students as disrespectful, also critiquing their arguments. Students were outraged that their ideas had met resistance of any kind. Massive quarrelling, spiderman meme-bombing and discord ensued. But- reciprocity played a role here as did time and community. As the controversy roiled, alumni invoked a request to hear one another out with a presumption of good faith, and a willingness to listen to one another. This did not produce immediate miracles. All grew quite heated and emphatic, people were blocked and unblocked, friended and unfriended.  Over time, many of the people I disagreed with most emphatically have become friends whose views I seek out and use to test out my own fledgling theories. It was messy, complicated and many people were not satisfied but the group keeps growing, tolerating one another on the merits of arguments presented. Something similar may be possible across the internet, if people can be both encouraged to express themselves and also to listen to one another with good faith arguments and plenty of supportive evidence.

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