The changing role of the citizen in media

Alina Ostling
Iva Nenadic

25 Apr 2017, 11:45 a.m.
Main Plenary (Sala Verde)

The media is undergoing profound transformation. Digital tools have opened up a vast array of opportunities for innovation in production, delivery and presentation of content. In this session we explore media innovations across 30 European countries and see that some of the most innovative media initiatives, such as crowdfunding and crowdsourcing, are based on a changing relationship between citizens and journalism(sts).

Several of these initiatives aim to involve citizens in journalistic work (e.g. suggesting stories, collecting information and fact-checking) and at achieving social impact (Nicholls et al. 2016). Research suggests that some crowdsourcing initiatives have in fact lowered thresholds for participation, and have had impact on both the public debate and on policy-making (Aitamurto 2015).

However, there is also a tension between participatory (open) and traditional (closed) journalistic practices. Journalists are struggling to adapt to these new models, where they have to interact with readers, while producing relevant and verified information adhering to high journalistic standards and at fast speed.

This session investigates how these innovations impact on transparency and accountability of the media, and whether they indeed open up the public sphere for more citizen participation.