Participatory journalism, also known as democratic or collaborative journalism, creates a two-way flow of information between journalists and their audience. Readers feed information into a platform or directly to content providers.
An example is when local citizens send video of local weather to television stations during storms. More sophisticated forms of participatory journalism engage in crowdsourcing, bringing together experts in a technical field to enhance discussion and inform coverage for a news outlet.
In some ways, participatory journalism is centuries old, going back to the ‘letters to the editor’ in print publications. With the advent of digital journalism, it takes more sophisticated forms.
How does participatory journalism work at Energy Changemakers?
We’ve created a community platform where experts in distributed energy resources can vet ideas, brainstorm and strategize. From these conversations our journalists cull trends and concepts to inform coverage in Decentralized Grid Magazine.
Our participatory journalism approach:
- Offers a private online platform or whiteboard where DER experts can get together and converse. We say it’s like an energy conference that goes on 24/7/365.
- Provides a public-facing magazine to get these ideas out to a larger reading public
How does Decentralized Grid Magazine choose what to cover from the discussions within the community?
We apply conventional journalistic standards to determine what parts of the discussion can be the basis of good content in Decentralized Grid Magazine. For example, is the information new, does it signify a trend or shift in thinking or action, or does it have a wide or profound impact?
What if I’d rather keep my discussion on the community platform private?
We respect that some folks like to stay out of the limelight and would prefer to use the community platform to network or converse privately. Our journalists will only quote what you say in the community with your permission.
Does Decentralized Grid Magazine cover only what’s happening in the community?
No. To gather information for the magazine, our journalists research distributed energy broadly and talk to many sources. We aim to make Decentralized Grid Magazine the go-to publication for everyone involved in distributed energy. The community will be an important source of content, but one of many.
This is new. Try it out!
As far as we can tell, we’re the first platform to use participatory journalism in energy publishing. So you may have questions! If you’re already a premium member, post your question on the community platform or direct message Elisa Wood. Otherwise, email email@example.com.