Session 3c: How Participatory Journalism Is Being Used Now

Neil Heinan

  • “I’m the dinosaur…I’m the manual typewriter in this group.”
  • With We the People/Wisconsin: US’s oldest civic journalism project
  • “I understand the power of the camera-equipped cell phone, but we’re still struggling with that in Madison, Wisconsin.”
  • “Dragging the citizens to the candidates”
  • Will forego the moderator in the next set of political debates and just have them talk to each other
  • Want to have the candidates answer citizen’s emailed questions
  • Want to make the questions posed to candidates “fair”: “Fairness…which is as far from the blogosphere as you can get.”
  • Still trying to get citizens to talk to each other, face to face.
    “As valuable as computer-to-computer is,” the idea of citizens talking
    to each other and to candidates running for office is something valuable
  • Shortcoming: we have traditionally cut out young people from the
    process. Active attempts at fixing this: inviting middle-school
    minority students intot he newsroom
  • Some input from web-based participatory journalism
  • Here as an old-school practitioner, trying to incorporate the online innovations.

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