It's true that journalism doesn't always offer returns or solutions for its subjects -- and at its worst, sells magazine subscriptions by exploiting suffering and pain. Even the readers are often left with feelings of guilt and helplessness, rather than an empowered plan of action. Stories can't always save us in a direct cause-and-effect way, no matter if it's the subject "participating" in the writing or a trained journalist doing all of the communications.
Yet, a descriptive, thoughtful story can help us understand someone else's difficult life and enlarge our empathy. In order to gain understanding, the story must be told in an effective way. This requires narrative craft and artistry. The drawback of "participatory storytelling" is that a subject can't always express the reality of their life in an effective way.
I agree storytelling should always be a collaborative effort between writer and subject, but it makes sense that the writer gets to communicate that story to to the world. The hard work and intuitive gift of narrative craft is a more effective mechanism to make a story heard and felt.