Abstract: Civic participation in news production has been a trend under academic scrutiny for at least two decades. The prevalence of digital communication and the dominance of proprietary platforms are two combining forces that disrupt the established journalistic norms. In this article, we investigate news participation and make three grand statements regarding: 1) the holistic definition of participation, 2) the network structure of participation delineating the power dynamics of different media actors, and 3) the transnational context of participation exhibiting the structural constraints within nation-state sovereignty. It is our argument that news participation as a civic act in the digital, globalized age has not fundamentally democratized the information flow as early optimists predicted. Instead, a group of “information elite” have risen to power due to their access to institutional resources, their advantageous positioning in the media ecology, and their entrenchment in the dominant ideology. Participation on proprietary platforms can be easily co-opted to serve the interest of the new information elite.
Keywords: civic participation; news participation; participatory journalism; proprietary platforms; social media