July 07, 2005

Participatory Journalism Article

Towards professional participatory storytelling in journalism and advertising
by Mark Deuze

The Internet - specifically its graphic interface, the World Wide Web - has had a major impact on all levels of (information) societies throughout the world. For media professionals whose work has primarily been defined as creative storytelling - whether in advertising, journalism, public relations or related fields - this poses fascinating opportunities as well as vexing dilemmas. The central question seems to be to what extent storytelling can be content- or connectivity-based, and what level of participation can or should be included in the narrative experience. Although these two issues have been part of creative decision-making processes in media work before the Web, new technologies of production, distribution and communication are 'supercharging' them as the central dilemmas in the contemporary media ecosystem. This paper discusses the history and contemporary examples of media work combining various elements of storytelling as a hybrid form between content and connectivity, and considers the normative and economical implications for the professional identity of media workers in journalism and advertising.

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