Element 68Element 45Element 44Element 63Element 64Element 43Element 41Element 46Element 47Element 69Element 76Element 62Element 61Element 81Element 82Element 50Element 52Element 79Element 79Element 7Element 8Element 73Element 74Element 17Element 16Element 75Element 13Element 12Element 14Element 15Element 31Element 32Element 59Element 58Element 71Element 70Element 88Element 88Element 56Element 57Element 54Element 55Element 18Element 20Element 23Element 65Element 21Element 22iconsiconsElement 83iconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsElement 84iconsiconsElement 36Element 35Element 1Element 27Element 28Element 30Element 29Element 24Element 25Element 2Element 1Element 66
Understanding Public Participation: Journalism and Democracy in a Digital Age

Understanding Public Participation: Journalism and Democracy in a Digital Age

Today’s mediascape offers a diversity of possibilities for citizens to participate in creating content for news journalism and to be involved in public debates. At the same time, citizens express dissatisfaction with the traditional media and their contribution to the public sphere. In addition, the business model of independent journalism, which represents an essential basis for the public debate and social cohesion, is currently uncertain. So far, we do not know enough about the chances of the present media crisis being a lasting one, whether invitations to participate are a part of the problem or a part of the solution, and how these shifts in journalism will affect democratic societies.

The Hans-Bredow-Institut participated in an international network, which sought theoretical and methodological answers to these enquiries. The work on related questions continues in the project “Journalism: New Organisational Models, Changing Audience Relationships, and their Effect on Journalistic Output” at the Hans-Bredow-Institut as well as in the larger international research network “Journalism Elsewhere”.

show more

Project Description

The network’s goal was, in particular, to bring together researchers from around the world who are interested in audience participation at established media organisations as well as newly emerging providers of journalistic content, but also to promote exchanges for emerging researchers and to create contacts to media practitioners. The network was financed by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), as well as the institutions participating in the network from October 2012 to May 2015. It soon was extended to include new members, and informed, for example, the preparation of the project “Journalism: New Organisational Models, Changing Audience Relationships, and their Effect on Journalistic Output” at the Hans-Bredow-Institut. The network is followed on seamlessly by the larger international research network “Journalism Elsewhere”, whose members are committed to investigating audience participation, citizen journalism and other instances of journalism being created in unusual places or by people formerly not so much involved in producing news (web designers, statisticians, software developers, etc.).

Project Information


Duration: 2012-2015

Research programme:
RP1 - Transformation of Public Communication

Cooperation Partner

Dr. Tamara Witschge, Rosalind Franklin Fellow, Faculty of Arts, University of Groningen (Projektleitung)
Dr. Chris Peters, lecturer, University of Groningen
Prof. Dr. Irene Costera Meijer, Professor für Journalism Studies, Department of Language and Communication, VU University Amsterdam
Dr. Karin Wahl-Jorgensen, Reader & Director des MA “Journalism, Media and Communications” und des MA “Political Communication”, Cardiff University
Dr. Andy Williams, lecturer, School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University

Contact person

PD Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt
Senior Researcher Digital Interactive Media & Political Communication

PD Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17-83
Fax +49 (0)40 45 02 17-77

Send Email



Subscribe to our newsletter and receive the Institute's latest news via email.