Bruns, Produsage and CNN.

The participation we as a society have within our news media is an ever constant growth, with our access and ability to raise issues developing with each development of convergence. Participatory media is the new media trend, as it is business suicide if a news organisation fails to harness and capture social media and public sharing of events, other wise known as citizen journalism. Alex Bruns 2007 work, Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation, stated four key characteristics of produsage (combination of “production” and “usage”) which are-

Organisational Shift- “a shift from dedicated individuals and teams as producers to a broader-based, distributed generation of content by a wide community of participants”
Fluid Movements- “Fluid Movement of producers between roles as leaders, participants and users of content; such producers may have backgrounds ranging from professional to amateur”
Unfinished- “artefacts generated are no longer products in a traditional sense: they are always unfinished, and continually underdevelopment-such development is evolutionary, iterative (frequent) and palimpsestic (something refused or altered but still bearing visible traces of earlier form)”
Permissive- “Produsage is based in permissive regimes of engagement which are based on merit more than ownership:they frequently employ copyright systems which acknowledge authorship and prohibit unauthorised commercial use, yet enable continuing collaboration on further content improvement”

So how does the CNN app fit into these four characteristics? Well firstly, Organisational Shift is highly relevant as the application resembles the shift from professional journalistic teams to participatory citizen journalism, or produsage by it’s audience. This is due to how ordinary citizens now have the ability to produce and use current affairs into major news, and also by using convergent media such as applications to raise and voice issues, as seen in the 2010 Arab Spring, with news articles and reports voicing the opinions of ordinary Egyptian citizens and their plight, rather than government officials dictating to the western media what “was happening”. Also, there is a wide community of CNN app users who too are contributors, commenting their voices into CNN reports and having their emails/tweets displayed in articles, their is a broad-based distribution of content by a wide and diverse community of CNN audiences within society.

Example of commentary ability on CNN news app.

Example of commentary ability on CNN news app.

Moving on now to Fluid Movements, this characteristic is perhaps the most diverse in regards to my technology. Fluid Movement is the ability for a producer to go between the roles of a leader, user and participant within the technology and it’s content, and the producer can be either professional or amateur, which to me is an exceptional example of convergency. In regards to the CNN app, a producer can be a reporter of the agency who produces an opinion piece regarding, for example, the Ukrainian crisis in which he allows and asks for the audience to comment and share their opinions (leader). Then, he becomes a participant of opinion as people from all over the world give real time opinions posted in the comment section, allowing for debate and a public sphere. These commentators can be professional- i.e. Experts in international politics or Eastern Europe, or they can be amateur- i.e. students with passionate interest in global politics or simply concerned citizens about the future. This is how we see the Fluid Movement within the CNN app.

The third characteristic, Unfinished, is more-so relevant to the convergency of news media, as news technologies are constantly changing yet remain evident of their predecessors. The CNN app is highly palimpsestic as it contains visible signs of its convergency from older news platforms, be it newspaper style articles or video formatting evident of television, it is there, however shows it’s evolution from these by it’s integration of comment sections, technology based platform and ability to be updated with latest news and technologies free and frequently (iterative).

Lastly, Permissive within my technology contains somewhat more freedom than prior technologies, as CNN encourages users to share it’s work, as tweeting or emailing articles contain hyperlinks which show which news agency produced said what and the author, along with title, so recognition is large and extensive. Users however cannot download the videos supplied within the app or save pictures due to copyright restrictions.

Stay Classy UOW,

Todd Steele


Moore, C 2014 “Participatory Media-From Citizen Journalism to Collective Intelligence”, Prezi Presentation distributed in BCM112 Lecture 6 Week 6 at University of Wollongong on April 8th 2014

Bruns, A 2007, Produsage : Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation. In Creativity and Cognition : Proceedings of the 6th ACM SIGCHI conference on Creativity & cognition, ACM, Washington, DC.

CNN News App, 2009, Atlanta Georgia USA


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