Although I won’t graduate until the fall, my thesis work is now done. I must admit it’s a bit of an anti-climatic ending. After 18 months of working at and through a seemingly endless task I feel almost too worn out to truly appreciate what I’ve accomplished. As I often told friends over the past few months, the more academically adept I become the more everyday functionality seems to deteriorate.
You can check out my abstract below; my final thesis will be published soon.
I am quite pleased with the end result; however, it is not the complete picture of my research. I had to cut a section on participatory journalism in the documentary department at CBC that I felt was very valuable, and will include in future presentations and articles on the subject matter.
The time I have spent studying and analyzing participatory journalism impressed on me the importance of traditional news media finding ways to work with the public and involve ordinary people, who often have extraordinary insight, in the newsmaking process.
My thesis work may be finished, but I will continue on with this participatory journalism blog. That is after I have spent the summer reading trashy novels and Hello magazine. A recuperation of sorts 🙂
In this paper I explore how participatory journalism is changing organizational structure and production practices at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Toronto (CBC)—a publicly funded network actively working on enriching its relationship with its audience community. Using practical action research I examine two sites of study that each offer unique strategies on incorporating everyday citizens into the news production process: the use of citizen bloggers to supplement CBC’s coverage of the G20 summit in Toronto shows how diversifying storytelling by partnering with the audience improves the overall quality of news content; the mandate of Connect with Mark Kelly to democratize daily news by using ordinary people as sources and breaking traditional rules of production reveals a survival strategy for daily news shows in a volatile broadcast market. Through the lens of media logic, using the theories of convergence culture and the public sphere, I explore strategies to invigorate public discourse by involving more citizens in the newsmaking process, thus subverting the production of news that is designed to entertain instead of inform.