Publication details

But whose harm? Towards the ethics of participatory advocacy journalism with unhoused populations


DVOŘÁK Vojtěch

Year of publication 2024
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journalism
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Web article - open access
Keywords Critical pedagogy; critical theory; empowerment; ethics; media participation; unhousedpeople; homelessness
Description Maximalist forms of media participation bring about innovative ways to empower people who experience homelessness while also holding the potential to challenge common stereotypes and media narratives related to homelessness. This paper is part of a broader research focused on developing media participation opportunities for unhoused populations. Its objective is to examine and discuss the compatibility of critical theories with media participation, drawing on the example of a participatory newspaper project conducted with unhoused people. The discussion is illustrated by several ethical issues that emerged from the process of co-creation. It concludes that critical theories provide a solid foundation for maximalist forms of media participation with unhoused people. However, it is crucial to acknowledge the potential risks associated with such participation endeavors. Therefore, it is recommended that the principles and practices of critical pedagogy be integrated into these projects. Furthermore, individuals involved in these efforts should be encouraged to draw on professional journalists’ ethical codes and values. Failure to do so may increase the risk of harm to the vulnerable population and undermines the potential for individual empowerment, ultimately hindering community empowerment.

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