Participatory Journalism as according to J.D. Lasica is simply defined as individuals playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, sorting, analyzing and disseminating news and information- a task once reserved almost exclusively to the news media.
As defined by Henry Jenkin on participatory culture:
- Relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement,
- Strong support for creating and sharing creations with other,
- Some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices,
- Members who believe that their contributions matter, and
- Members who feel some degree of social connection with one another (at the least they care what other people think about what they have created).
Taking STOMP as a case study in making comparisons and analyzing similar STOMP-alike sites created in other countries that will enable us to further determine if STOMP is sync attuned to the participatory culture of today’s Singaporean Youths.
Citizen Journalism in India
India is a country that hosts many citizen journalism websites, for instance Merinews.com, Whitedrums.com , Mynews.in, South Asian Citizen Reporters Network (Sacrn.com), Purdafash.com and Rediff.com, just to name a few.
Whitedrums.com is a good comparison example to our local Citizen Journalism website, STOMP. The various functions/sections available within Whitedrums.com appear analogously similar in STOMP as well. Likewise to the objectives and role of Whitedrums, in a way or another it encourages citizens to participate and submit news/ their thoughts. However, the participatory culture within their citizens from these sites in India as mentioned above reports more on the serious issues like Climate change, health topics, politics, environmental problems and etc. As compared to STOMP, the news contents contributed by STOMPers are considered ‘softer’ and less serious.
With the simple comparison and analysis made above, could we then depict the participatory culture of Singaporean youths (the main target audience of STOMP) works in its own unique Singaporean way?