Redefining Journalism: Collaboration in the Public Sphere

My name is Nicole Blanchett Neheli and this blog is the platform for my Master’s research. Any comments posted to this blog may be used in my final thesis, future academic papers, articles, or conferences. I’m exploring in what ways participatory journalism could reinvigorate the public sphere; in other words, how citizen journalists and traditional broadcast media could work together to share more stories in a variety of formats and provoke dialogue on issues important to us all. I’m not just talking about using youtube video, or a viewer’s comment, but sometimes letting the audience tell the story. Could this effect positive social change? Get more people discussing what’s happening around us and  how it impacts our global community? Throughout my research I will be posting my findings with the aim of creating a conversation about citizen journalism, convergence, centralized ownership, and the future of journalism. Thanks for dropping in!

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2 thoughts on “Redefining Journalism: Collaboration in the Public Sphere

  1. Very interesting. Will you be taking a Habermasian approach? I have similar research interests, at least in regards to what part social technology will take in social change. I’m taking a dif approach (though news framing is a part of my study which of course connects to Journalism.) You remind me to work on my blog.

    Cheers,

    Avi

    • Thanks for the comment! Yes I am looking at this from a Habermasian perspective — here is an excerpt from my thesis proposal that I will post once I receive formal approval:

      No agreement exists on whether the public sphere can be functional. For example, Schudson’s (2009) interpretation of a public sphere, where “a statement can be judged true” (p. 112) only if “all people would agree on it” and were able “ to discuss all of human experience without any constraints for an indefinite length of time”, is unachievable. However, Habermas (1991) himself says the public sphere “may be conceived above all as the sphere of private people come together as a public” (p. 27). An idea which forms my position that the public sphere is not, necessarily, about consensus but ensuring a platform for an unfiltered public-voice. An ideal rendered impotent by corporate control of news: “In the course of the shift from journalism of private men of letters to the public services of the mass media, the sphere of the public was altered by the influx of private interests that received privileged exposure in it” (Habermas, 1991, p. 188). The Internet, however, renewed hope of a platform free of economic constraints, open to anyone’s participation, including citizen journalists.

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