Participatory Journalism, also known as citizen journalism, is journalistic content created by independent media, and citizens, that is used by mainstream media. This is where citizens are playing an active role in getting information shared by sending it to news stations and being given the credit for possessing the information. One of the most popular forms of participatory journalism would be blogging. Most people argue that blogging is not a form of participatory journalism. It would only be considered that kind of journalism if the blogger went out and got the information they were discussing on their own, not merely by sharing a link on their site. Now, you do not necessarily have to be a blogger to be considered a journalist. If a newspaper is running a story about an incident, and the citizen has a first hand look at the incident, photos, and describe everything that has happened, that can be considered participatory journalism.
An ongoing interaction between the information that the citizen provides is a very important aspect in being considered participatory journalism. The best example I can think of would be TMZ. TMZ gathers information about celebrities and shares it to the world. Some of these journalist may depend on citizens to report things to them because they were at a specific place at a specific time and were able to catch a photo or video of a celebrity, then send it in to TMZ for them to use. As long as this information is new, and offers a unique angle to the story that has already been reported, it will be considered participatory. In my opinion, I think that journalism should be respected and left to people who are professionally doing it. Having citizens put input is always okay, but I do not think anyone should just consider themselves a “journalist,” unless they have the proper experience and skills to be one.