by Jane B. Singer and others
Readers might wonder about the title of this book. After all, what kind of journalism is not participatory? The subtitle, however, is more enlightening: Guarding open gates at online newspapers should pull both journalists and the type of reader who contributes everything from comments to blog posts to photos. The book shows how citizen journalism is affecting the industry. Eight researchers interviewed 70 journalists at two dozen major newspapers worldwide in 2007 and 2008 to come up with snapshots of the news-making process and how amateur reporters help, and sometimes hinder, that process. Among the journos interviewed, the notion of allowing readers to decide what is news was unacceptable. But users were given important roles to play, particularly in the early stages of generating ideas and observing events, although few journalists saw them as 'co-workers'. Those in the business won't find much they don't already know, but they should appreciate the different views offered.