Participatory Development Journalism: Frameworks and its Application

by: Leslie Marie Zaldua

Participatory Development Journalism (PDJ) encourages the audience or stakeholders to be an active participant in the whole process of journalism. In our laboratory class, we have presented our proposed participatory development journalism frameworks that we think can be applied in our assigned topic and community (ours is livelihood/social enterprises in Los Banos and nearby communities).

There will be no best framework. There will only be appropriate framework. Here are some of the frameworks which I think can be used in our community:

  1. Hemedes and Virtudes’ Participatory Development Journalism Framework

PDJ Framework (Virtudes & Hemedes, 2016)

According to Hemedes and Virtudes’ framework, the stakeholders will be the key persons in the whole process of PDJ, from the data gathering to the writing of the article. The stakeholders will undergo a training/workshop for them to know the basic concepts of journalism and how to apply it into writing. After the training/workshop, they will start practicing what they’ve learned and be contributors/writers in their community papers. The intervention of the PDJ practitioners in the will be minimal. They will be the facilitators in the training/workshop and in the editing of the paper.

This framework can be applied to our identified community (Los Banos and nearby communities) because it does not only promote participatory journalism for the stakeholders but also it equip them the knowledge and skills needed to make PDJ sustainable. We can conduct a one to two-day seminar-workshop for our stakeholders and continuously facilitate their community paper until they no longer need much intervention/supervision. Volunteerism is also a good element in this framework; however, it may not be that feasible given that the stakeholders may not participate without gaining something from it. We can encourage them by giving them a certificate or freebie after the seminar-workshop and when they have established the paper, they can ask for sponsors/advertisements to be indicated in the paper. This way, the writers/stakeholders will not only have a career but also they can help their community and nearby communities in addressing different issues they have.


2. Layson and Nisperos’ Participatory Development Journalism Framework


In Layson and Nisperos’ framework, the community leaders have important roles in the PDJ process. The reason is that they are known by their community so it is easier for them to collect data or information from their constituents since they know each other. The LB Times and leaders will then collaborate to discuss the issues concerning the community. The next meeting, the leaders together with the LB Times staff will discuss these issues and help them to address these issues by PDJ. During the meeting, the community members will write or narrate their stories and discuss the paper that will be published. After the meeting, the staff will collate the papers or stories and will edit them substantially and technically. When the stories are published, it will be distributed in the community for the stakeholders to see.

This framework can be used in the community; however, we will limit the involvement of the gatekeepers/LB Times staff. This framework can be done during the first phase of PDJ in the community. In the long run, the stakeholders should be able to do it will less or no intervention from the staff. Or the community itself will have their own editorial staff to do the gatekeeping. The community editorial staff will be trained by the LB Times staff. By doing so, the PDJ in the community can continuously address their issues and help other communities with the same issues as well.

3. Palle and Zaldua’s Participatory Development Journalism Framework


Palle and Zaldua’s framework tackles about the importance of objectivity and other traditional concepts of journalism. It is the stakeholders who will be the key players in the process. However, there will still be intervention from participatory development journalists to facilitate in the whole process. Through this, the objectivity and other traditional concepts of journalism such as relevance, accuracy, and significance will still be observed.

This framework can be applied to our assigned community but this is more effective during the first few weeks of the process. Like the above mentioned framework, the community should be able to practice PDJ with less or no intervention.




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