By ROBBIE SHIVER
The phrase participatory journalist was new to me until last week. However, the meaning behind the phrase revolves around a topic in which everyone in the journalism field is well aware. Participatory journalism is the idea that anyone who is able to contribute in some way to the depth of a news story is a participatory journalist. This is the concept that allows journalists, bloggers, tweeters and even certain people who comment on a story with something to add to the story to be linked together in the journalism field.
While this kind of journalism allows many people to share stories and news, it definitely changes the role of the contemporary journalist. Instead of trying to compete with people sharing stories through picture phones, blogs and any other technology, journalists can now use these people to help them create a better story. With Twitter, blogs, and Facebook, trained journalists now access much more material and potential interesting stories than ever before. While the thrill of breaking a story in today’s world is now somewhat downplayed, there is also limitless potential for new and interesting stories of all kinds.
For example, it has never been so easy for a reporter in a major city like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles to report on an interesting and/or groundbreaking achievement by a person in Montana. Word of mouth spreads so quickly online that it is truly up to the work ethic and creativity of the modern day journalist to allow participatory journalists to help instead of hinder their success.