Forcing the gates of the fortress: the growing impact of public participation in Flemish newsrooms

Jeroen De Keyser & Karin Raeymaecker (Ghent University, Belgium):

The traditional mass media have a history of being one-way transmitters of information, fortresses closed to the input of the public. Although some cautious attempts to give a voice to this public can be demonstrated in some media (for example, by introducing a letters-to-the-editor section), these have been proven to be insufficient today. One major development is the explosion of free news content on the Internet, often generated by citizens outside the traditional news flow. Traditional media once unanimously opposed any form of citizen journalism, but their attitudes have started to change. More and more media outlets are offering users online tools to participate in parts of the professional news process. Although professional journalists ultimately remain in control, these experiments can be seen as content-generating mechanisms, helping to reduce costs related to the process of newsgathering. This paper presents results of recent research in Flemish newsrooms.

Timing - Friday - Panel Session D2
Download the full paper - De Keyser & Raeymaeckers.pdf



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