The digitization of newspapers has opened up new possibilities for user involvement, yet established practices in the media industry hinder news organisations from fully exploiting the many new opportunities that exist in the age of the Internet and social media. In this conceptual and interdisciplinary article, we explain how news actors’ strategic choices for innovation related to citizen collaboration and knowledge creation lead to distinct ideal types for participatory business models for news organisations, which we label the three C’s (citizen reporting, citizen journalism, and citizen media). We contribute to the business model innovation literature by pointing to which specific parts of a business model that news actors need to change in order to cut their production costs, as well as contributing to innovation theory by showing that the three C’s is a continuum of innovational steps. We develop further the donation strategy for user involvement by discussing citizen collaboration in different parts of the journalistic value chain. We conclude that news actors need to rock their boats in order to innovate their business models in line with today's media landscape.
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