Participatory journalism is a big and growing phenonmenon. It's been seen as an example of user created content associated with the development of what's been called Web 2.0.
Fast and flexible Edit
Current events can be better covered, with more immediacy, when there are more people reporting them.
Topic or place specific Edit
Participatory journalism can tackle subjects mainstream media might leave alone. Examples include environmental disasters and popular demonstrations.
Commentary about local events can be seen through the eyes of people who are most affected by them - people who live in, work in or visit a locality.
Participatory journalism can help develop a sense of empowerment for ordinary citizens and community groups. It can be seen as part of Getting to know your area and can also be used identify positive news and a can-do approach.
- A brief introduction to Computer Assisted Reporting The Help Me Investigate blog