Streets of London

After last week’s bustle at the International Communication Association’s 63rd annual conference in London, all jpub members have finally returned from the Thames to the Alster: (at least) some tired, all happy. The ICA had compiled a program of really interesting talks, much too many to attend them all, so that I’m still busy downloading and reading the papers of those I missed.

We were very happy that we could present a small portion of the results from our case study at the German daily newscast Tagesschau in a session entitled „Participatory Journalism: Reimagining the Role of Audiences and Journalists“ with Carrie Brown-Smith as host.

Heise; Loosen; Reimer; Schmidt: Comparing attitudes and expectations towards audience participation in news journalism. ICA London, June 21st 2013 from jpub 2.0

Here, we focused on comparing the actual importance of different participatory functions (e.g. commentary sections, social media profiles) for audience members with their importance as assumed by the Tagesschau-journalists and pointed out what both sides think audience participation at the Tagesschau is good for.

In the session, we also had the pleasure to hear some high quality talks on related topics, all of which greatly complemented one another:

Rodrigo Zamith presented his and Seth C. Lewis‚ thoughts on how to convert discursive spaces on news websites from public spaces to public spheres. Lea Hellmueller and You Li talked about the integration of participatory journalism in the journalistic field using the example of CNN’s iReporters. Anna Kümpel, Nina Springer and Ramona Ludolph analysed he interaction between users and newsrooms on German, US-American and Swedish news websites. Annika Sehl presented some really interesting findings from her dissertation in which she investigated in how far audience participation contributes to diversity of information and opinion in local reporting.

This way, the session brought together different facets of and views on audience participation in journalism, providing an overview about current research in this area as well as detailed insights into specific aspects.

(If you are interested in our full paper on attitudes and expectations towards audience participation at the Tagesschau but do not have access to the ICA website, please e-mail me at j.reimer[at] and I’ll be glad to send you a copy.)


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