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News Innovation and the Negotiation of Participation
Unformatted Document Text:  News Innovation and the Negotiation of Participation 20 Benefits to Giving Up Some Control This reflection on control brings me to the third manner in which News Challenge winners articulated the negotiation of professional control and open participation. From their perspective as media producers, they appeared to believe that yielding some level of control over content both incentivized audience engagement and actually improved the output of news and information. On the first point, the Daily Phoenix’s proposal noted: One of our service’s core features will be a “garage” where Daily Phoenix users can suggest (and help perfect) new functions [for this mobile/online news service connected to the light rail]. We will continue to roll these out. This also addresses [another] risk, which is audience loyalty. By encouraging and fostering collaboration on future Daily Phoenix features and functions, we will give users a stake in the project. This creates a “pride of ownership” factor that will increase their “switching costs” if another service comes along. On the second point, winners indicated that yielding a certain degree of control could improve journalism’s reach and quality by enabling citizen participation to fill in the gaps of professional coverage—gaps that result from the downsizing of legacy news organizations as well the impracticalities of having mass-media professionals report on intensely niche communities and topics. For example, the New York news site Gotham Gazette proposed a wiki that would allow users to help keep track of city contracts, city council earmarks, and other watchdog-oriented information. We could not realistically devote reporting time to every council member, race or earmark, but by creating a single structure that encourages our readers and other citizens of New York to add their own knowledge, we can create a much more comprehensive resource. In this view, yielding control is a function of acknowledging weaknesses: recognizing what a professionalized news system cannot accomplish on its own, and

Authors: Lewis, Seth.
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News Innovation and the Negotiation of Participation 20 
 
Benefits to Giving Up Some Control 
This reflection on control brings me to the third manner in which News Challenge 
winners articulated the negotiation of professional control and open participation. From 
their perspective as media producers, they appeared to believe that yielding some level of 
control over content both incentivized audience engagement and actually improved the 
output of news and information. On the first point, the Daily Phoenix’s proposal noted: 
One of our service’s core features will be a “garage” where Daily Phoenix users 
can suggest (and help perfect) new functions [for this mobile/online news service 
connected to the light rail]. We will continue to roll these out. This also addresses 
[another] risk, which is audience loyalty. By encouraging and fostering 
collaboration on future Daily Phoenix features and functions, we will give users a 
stake in the project. This creates a “pride of ownership” factor that will increase 
their “switching costs” if another service comes along. 
 
On the second point, winners indicated that yielding a certain degree of control 
could improve journalism’s reach and quality by enabling citizen participation to fill in 
the gaps of professional coverage—gaps that result from the downsizing of legacy news 
organizations as well the impracticalities of having mass-media professionals report on 
intensely niche communities and topics. For example, the New York news site Gotham 
Gazette proposed a wiki that would allow users to help keep track of city contracts, city 
council earmarks, and other watchdog-oriented information. 
We could not realistically devote reporting time to every council member, race or 
earmark, but by creating a single structure that encourages our readers and other 
citizens of New York to add their own knowledge, we can create a much more 
comprehensive resource

 
In this view, yielding control is a function of acknowledging weaknesses: 
recognizing what a professionalized news system cannot accomplish on its own, and 


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