May they come in? A comparison of German and Flemish efforts to welcome public participation in the news media

  • Jeroen De Keyser Ghent University
  • Annika Sehl TU Dortmund University

Abstract

Much attention has been paid to audience participation in online journalism in recent years. This article contributes to that ongoing discussion by focusing on the previously largely overlooked macro level. It compares participatory journalism on German and Flemish national newspapers’ Web sites with a threefold aim: a) discussing the (lack of) introduction of certain participatory features in both markets; b) offering the first longitudinal perspective in that field for both markets; and, c) analyzing the various influences of market size on participatory journalism implementation. The longitudinal overview confirms that changes are happening at a fast pace. In general, the availability of participatory features on national Flemish and German newspaper Web sites is comparable, as both markets belong largely to the same journalistic culture. The larger part of the dissimilarities is explained by the difference in market size.

Author Biographies

Jeroen De Keyser, Ghent University
Jeroen De Keyser is a researcher at the Department of Communication Sciences at Ghent University (Belgium), where he is also member of the Center for Journalism Studies. He currently works on an FWO (Research Foundation ? Flanders) project that investigates emerging forms of citizen journalism and their interaction with traditional journalistic models.
Annika Sehl, TU Dortmund University
Annika Sehl is a research assistant and lecturer at the Institute of Journalism at TU Dortmund University (Germany). Furthermore she is a research fellow at the Erich-Brost-Institute for International Journalism in Dortmund.
Published
2011-09-25
How to Cite
De Keyser, J., & Sehl, A. (2011). May they come in? A comparison of German and Flemish efforts to welcome public participation in the news media. First Monday, 16(10). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v16i10.3457