Participatory Media is a toolkit for planning and evaluating participatory media practices—collaborative media projects and research teams.

This kit is designed to clarify the processes and engagements of participatory media projects. These projects can be quite complex, changing over time, involving many people, and confronting controversial or challenging issues.

Many participatory projects exceed the careful planning involved in many industrially-situated long form documentary practices. Instead, their process of production, distribution, and exhibition is marked by a different way of knowing. Because this work is frequently an intuitive, sprawling, shape-shifting, incomplete process that operates beyond authorial control and careful planning, meta-thinking about the why and how of such projects are critical to practitioners.

The authors of this toolkit hope that makers and designers “can gain clarity and be more transparent with involved partners, team members, advisors, funders, and participants” about goals, practices, and ambitions. Conceived to amplify clarity, purpose, and interactions in participatory media work, this model can be extended and adapted to platforms, research, and projects beyond documentary.