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(searched for: doi:10.1002/9781444340747.ch10)
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Published: 18 April 2022
Behaviour & Information Technology pp 1-22;

Rising prominence of social media coupled with a myriad of recent developments in the built-in features has allowed users to instantly share news both within and across their social networks, making news-sharing a savvy trend. Additionally, these platforms have enabled users to share news critical to social and civic responsibilities, as well as political news critical to healthy socio-political function. Given the prominence of citizen-driven digital journalism, even ordinary users and passive receivers of information have a powerful voice in modern society, making news-sharing on social media a significant phenomenon spanning across social, economic, and political boundaries. News-sharing behaviour on social media demands further empirical investigation, especially with respect to the roles of online civic engagement and social influences. Drawing upon Elaboration Likelihood Model and Social Influence Theory, this study proposes a research model to explore individuals’ news-sharing behaviour and validates the proposed research model using empirical data collected by a survey of 513 active social media users. Findings confirm that online news quality, news source credibility, perception of online civic engagement, perceived influence on others, and social influence play a crucial role in users’ news-sharing behaviours. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed in light of these findings.
, Irene Costera Meijer
Published: 1 April 2022
Journal: Journalism
Scholars repeatedly argue that ‘audience engagement’ as a concept and, consequently as a practice, remain inconsistent and ambiguous. Such conceptual inconsistency is in tension with the relevance that the phenomenon of audience engagement has gained in contemporary discussions about journalism. In this article, we tackle the conceptual inconsistency of audience engagement by conducting a qualitative examination of all academic peer-reviewed publications (217) that dealt with ‘audience engagement’ and interrelated terms such as ‘user engagement’, ‘news engagement’ and ‘engaged journalism’, published between 2007 and 2018. Grounded in this empirical examination, we found that, first, definitions and operationalisations of audience engagement emphasised the production context of journalism over that of reception, yielding relatively unbalanced insights into the phenomenon. Second, we offer a Dynamic Model of Audience Engagement composed of four dimensions: normative, habitual, spatio-temporal and embodied. By grasping the complexity and multidimensionality of audience engagement and by aligning audience engagement with the notion with journalism’s democratic goal of informing the citizenry and more concretely its audience, our Dynamic Model of Audience Engagement facilitates future academic discussions in and around the topic of audience engagement.
Published: 15 February 2022
Digital Journalism pp 1-20;

This study examines digital media criticism—publicly shared evaluations and judgements of journalistic text and actors on various digital platforms—as a risk to journalism. It specifically interrogates how journalists negotiate the diverse nature of criticism in digital spaces and in a comparative context. Through qualitative interviews with practising journalists, the paper identifies the following four main journalistic responses to digital media criticism: consolidation (ringfencing journalistic discourse); filtering (cleaning up journalistic discourse); rationalisation (acknowledging criticism or non-responses) and counter-discourse (counteracting anti-media discourses). These responses, referred to as forms of digital discursive resistance, show that journalists are both defensive against and accommodating of risks to journalistic authority, but usually aim to reinforce and expand journalistic discourse in digital spaces.
Published: 2 November 2021
Journalism Practice pp 1-18;

This study explores the prevailing institutional logics within Western news outlets to examine the prevalent values and concerns around the social media news audience amid a time of great upheaval in the news industry. Through a qualitative content analysis of social media guidelines from mainstream news outlets the study finds that professional logics continue to dominate news organization goals with the journalists positioned as the professionals in charge of the news and their audiences still limited to largely passive consumer roles at best allowed to comment, like and share only after publication. While the findings show that the news organizations view their audiences as a consumer rather than collaborator, the study notes the emergence of two audience-oriented values which suggest that news organizations have already begun to respond to the ways in which their audiences are being reshaped by digital and social media even if those new technologies have not—yet—reshaped the organization’s relationship with the audience. Overall, the study shows that professional logics continue to inform news organization attitudes in relation to their audiences as organizations continue to privilege the role of the news organization as the professional in charge of the content.
, Kathryn Brohman, Shamel Addas
Published: 26 August 2021
Journal of Information Technology, Volume 37, pp 122-143;

Public concern about ‘fake news’ skyrocketed following the 2016 US presidential election and the Brexit referendum, and has only intensified since then. A burgeoning body of research on the topic is emerging, and conceptual clarity is vital for this research to converge into a cumulative body of knowledge; the purpose of this article is to underline and address some of the conceptual clutter and ambiguities around the concept of fake news and situate it within its social context. To do so, we first discuss the problems with current terminology and conceptualisation, and then draw on recent developments on the ontology of digital objects and their attributes to shift the focus from fake news to false messages, a type of syntactic digital objects comprised of content and structure and characterised by attributes of editability, openness, interactivity, and distributedness. Then we expand this concept further by placing it within a network of actors and digital objects. Our analysis uncovers several areas of research that have been overlooked in the study of fake news.
, Klara Langmann, Svenja Boberg, Lena Frischlich, Tim Schatto-Eckrodt, Thorsten Quandt
Published: 21 May 2021
Journal: Journalism
Online comments and contributions from users are not always constructive nor rational. This also applies to content that is directed at journalists or published on journalistic platforms. So-called ‘dark participation’ in online communication is a challenge that journalists have to face because it lowers users’ perceived credibility of media brands and hinders a deliberative discourse in comment sections. This study examines how journalists perceive themselves in relation to dark participation, what measures they take against it, and how they assess the efficacy of these measures. Based on in-depth interviews ( N = 26), we find that journalists overall considered themselves to be effective in handling dark participation. The perceived efficacy differed according to the grade of engagement with users. Journalists who interacted very much or very little with users perceive the efficacy of their interventions to be highest, whilst those with medium levels of interaction rate their efficacy to be lower. Furthermore, the perceived amount of dark participation also affected the perceived efficacy.
, Ogadimma C. Emenyeonu, , Moneeba Iftikhar
Published: 15 May 2021
Information Discovery and Delivery, Volume 50, pp 142-154;

Purpose: Citizen journalism practices through social networking sites are increasingly becoming an imperative source of public opinion formation. Given the increase in the volume of information sharing on social media during COVID-19, this study aims to grasp the largely unknown interaction of the individual’s trust in citizen journalism practices and public perception formulation. Drawing on this idea, the study has twofold objectives: first, to examine the influence of user-generated information about economic policies of government during COVID-19 as the antecedent of public perception about government performance and second, to identify the moderating role of trust in citizen journalism practices during COVID-19 through social networking sites. Design/methodology/approach: The study used a survey method and a sample of 464 adults were collected through an online administrated questionnaire. Findings: The findings specify that user-generated content that is pro-government economic policies during COVID-19 positively influenced the perception of government performance. On the other hand, user-generated information that criticized government economic policies had a negative influence on public perception. Originality/value: This study seeks to intensify the understudied phenomenon of how nature and source of the information could interact to influence one’s information processing during a crisis such as pandemic COVID-19. Furthermore, only a little research has been conducted in this area focusing on two mechanisms, namely; citizen journalism and trust in social media user-generated information about prevailing economic insecurities during crisis provided through citizen journalism.
, Hayley Blackburn, Stephen McConnell
Published: 26 October 2020
Newspaper Research Journal, Volume 41, pp 433-454;

As news commenting has evolved as a participatory tool and journalists have developed traditional practices for moderation, there are questions about how to promote quality spaces for news discourse. Using gatekeeping theory, this study analyzes in-depth interviews with 13 news comment moderators to understand how these individuals establish moderation routines and define their professional role. This provides new insight into the journalist–audience relationship and the development of new media practices for online news production.
Mohamed Zayani
Published: 18 September 2020
Digital Journalism, Volume 9, pp 24-41;

In 2014, Al Jazeera Network launched AJ+, a digital initiative intended to put it at the forefront of a changing journalistic field. Targeting an expanding mobile-centric generation of avid social media users and tech-savvy youth, Al Jazeera’s innovative media lab for digital storytelling engages audiences on a wide range of popular and emerging social media platforms. This qualitative and quantitative research study explores what AJ + reveals about the ability of established media organizations to adapt to changes in technology and adjust to the evolving ways news is produced and consumed. While shedding light on the opportunities and challenges ICT-driven innovation in journalism have brought to legacy media players in the digital era, the case of AJ+ also helps unravel intricate dynamics at the intersection of changing digital journalistic practices, retooled forms of political communication, and reconfigured geopolitical realities.
, João Carlos Correia, Anabela Gradim
Published: 15 September 2020
Journalism Practice, Volume 16, pp 813-827;

Digital environments play a central role in the news making process. Seeking new ways to interact with people previously seen as audience is a big challenge for media and journalists today, especially in local contexts, where journalists are more embedded in the community, physically and digitally, namely through social media and from mobile devices. This study intends to identify how local journalists are using digital tools in their routines, especially when it comes to be close and engaged with communities. To do so, a survey was applied to a sample of journalists (n = 107) from 42 newsrooms from the central region of Portugal, which gathers the most significant presence of local media. Findings point to full integration of the Internet into local journalists’ routines as well as social media and mobile. Digital technologies are used essentially for news gathering and to get in touch with sources. Employing social media to engage with the community is true only for a few. The same happens when it comes to recognize or even incorporate content produced by citizens. Local journalists are not always so available to be close to the public as they usually claim.
, , Carlos Toural-Bran
El Profesional de la información;

The participation of readers in the creation of information products increases the value of the media and the satisfaction of co-creators. Such involvement of the public especially affects productive processes, although without ignoring their participation in development and marketing, and implies a democratization of information, personalized experiences, and diverse points of view that favor informative pluralism. In this research we analyze an international sample of five digital native newspapers to verify the extent to which they allow their audiences to co-create content. We use an exploratory methodology to verify the existence of spaces designed for co-creation and prepare evaluation scales for the level of utility of these sites and examine their accessibility from the perspective of citizen empowerment, openness of content, and web architecture. The results show that the degree of implementation achieved by newspapers is lower than may be expected for purely digital media and provide a warning about the need to devise new formulas for co-creation and involve audiences more in generating content, while also indicating the need to review in depth the role of readers as sources. The limitations on citizen empowerment that derive from the absence of advertising in business models restrict open access, while web hierarchies hamper collaboration. The need for citizens to clearly identify which products have been produced by journalists versus co-creators is also diagnosed. Resumen La participación de los usuarios en la creación de productos informativos aumenta el valor de los medios de comunicación e incrementa la satisfacción de los cocreadores. La involucración de los lectores afecta en especial a los procesos productivos, aunque sin desmerecer la implicación en el desarrollo y en el marketing, e implica democratización de la información, experiencias personalizadas y puntos de vista diversos que favorecen el pluralismo informativo. En esta investigación se analiza una muestra internacional compuesta por cinco diarios nativos digitales para comprobar en qué medida permiten a sus públicos cocrear contenidos. Se utiliza una metodología exploratoria para comprobar la existencia de espacios concebidos para la cocreación. Se confeccionan unas escalas de evaluación del grado de utilidad de la idoneidad de esos sitios y se examina su accesibilidad desde la perspectiva del empoderamiento ciudadano, la apertura de contenidos y la arquitectura web. Los resultados demuestran que los grados de implantación alcanzados por los diarios son más bajos de lo que pudiera esperarse de medios puramente digitales y alertan sobre la necesidad de idear nuevas fórmulas de cocreación e implicar más a las audiencias en la generación de contenidos, al tiempo que se hace necesario revisar con profundidad cuál es su papel como fuentes. Las limitaciones al empoderamiento ciudadano derivadas de la ausencia de publicidad en los modelos de negocio restringen los accesos en abierto y las jerarquías web obstaculizan las colaboraciones. Se diagnostica, asimismo, la necesidad de que los ciudadanos puedan identificar con claridad qué productos han sido elaborados por periodistas y cuáles por cocreadores.
Published: 2 July 2020
African Journalism Studies, Volume 41, pp 20-35;

Social media platforms are increasingly used by non-traditional journalists in sub-Saharan Africa for production and distribution of information. The involvement of these peripheral actors—for whom there is in reality no requirement that they adhere to professional ethics and journalistic principles—in the production and circulation of information is not without raising concerns about fake news and the quality of the information published via Facebook and Twitter accounts. This article assesses the information shared on Facebook about the anglophone crisis in Cameroon by individuals who present themselves as citizen journalists. Theoretically, we draw from the gatekeeping theory and the concept of fake news. Empirically, we use a mixed multi-method approach with both quantitative and qualitative methods. The period of analysis includes four weeks, from 15 August to 15 September 2018. The results prove that a large number of Facebook news stories lack important elements of verifiability and reliability.
Clarissa C. David, , Evelyn Katigbak
Published: 31 May 2019
Newspaper Research Journal, Volume 40, pp 329-345;

Through interviews with journalists from four top online newsrooms in the Philippines, this study examined the organizational arrangements surrounding social media teams and how these influence social media being incorporated into journalism decisions. Organizations considered audience preferences in their editorial decisions, but they depended on arrangements surrounding social media teams. Some organizational arrangements included inclusion of social media editors in story conferences and meetings, collaboration between reporters and social media teams, and direct exposure of top editors to engagement analytics. Drivers of news organizations incorporating social media into newsmaking processes include mass-market orientation, primacy of digital over print/television news formats, and history of a legacy brand.
Lia‐Paschalia Spyridou, Dimitra L. Milioni
Published: 29 April 2019
The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Published: 1 March 2019
Journalism Studies, Volume 20, pp 2258-2276;

Aiming to shed light on why Facebook users react to certain events and news stories more than to others, this study analyses their reactions to different events and to the media coverage of those events. The case selection includes six events covered by two newspapers from four countries: France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. The research design combines an original content analysis of news media outlets’ posts with an analysis of the reactions that these posts have generated from Facebook users—likes, shares and comments—to assess whether and how the nature of events and the characteristics of the news content contribute to explaining the engagement of Facebook users with the news. The data analysis indicated that the decisions to like, share or comment were not driven by the same factors. Unexpected events showed significance, at different levels, for all kinds of reactions to news. Conversely, the specific features of news content only slightly affected the levels of liking and sharing. Facebook users were more likely to comment on news adhering to known criteria for news values, such as negativity or personalization.
Published: 11 June 2018
Journalism Studies, Volume 20, pp 1149-1166;

Journalists see online commenters as outsiders who are a potential threat to the reputation and legitimacy of professional journalism. But should commenters be seen as potential new journalistic agents, or are they serving a political role? This study uses field theory to consider how online commenters at one large news organization engage in promoting ideology and how journalists respond. Commenters see themselves as the duty-bound defenders of political perspectives rarely seen in media. Journalists see this as a threat to their profession. The potential political role for the online commenter in journalism is discussed.
Published: 13 April 2018
Journal: Journalism
Journalism, Volume 22, pp 265-281;

This case study of Australian participatory-journalism project ABC Open analyzes the role of professional staff in the gatekeeping of user-generated content. Informed by the concept of ‘reciprocal journalism’ and applying the ‘network gatekeeping theory’ developed by Barzilai-Nahon, this study finds a user-generated content project that prioritizes rapport between user-generated content contributors and the initiative’s professional gatekeepers (‘producers’). Analysis suggests that the ‘collegial gatekeeping’ approach of ABC Open is resource- and labor-intensive, but succeeds by prioritizing quality over quantity in a long-term, non-profit initiative.
Published: 30 January 2018
Communication Research and Practice, Volume 4, pp 1-16;

Citizen journalism is on the rise in India. Through the lens of the intermedia agenda setting theory, content analysis and qualitative interviews, this study looks at how one citizen led media outlet, CGNET Swara, works to influence the agendas of India’s largest print media organisation, The Times of India. News done by the two media organisations and 30 interviews with local, mainstream and citizen journalists, show, that while mainstream media may routinely ignore citizen produced news; for local journalists from smaller local language newspapers, such news has much value. News produced by CGNET Swara is often highlighted, though with little credit to the original reporters.
Published: 2 January 2018
Journalism Practice, Volume 13, pp 178-190;

This study found that while participants rated their own Facebook friend as more credible and more similar to them than a news organization, they rated news articles as more credible when they are shared on Facebook by a news organization than when they are shared by their own Facebook friend. Source, however, interacts with motivation. News articles shared by a news organization are rated more credible only when motivation is high. There were no significant differences between sources when motivation is low.
, Richard Ling, , , , Lim Zheng Wei
Published: 21 September 2017
New Media & Society, Volume 20, pp 2745-2763;

Through an analysis of relevant literature and open-ended survey responses from 2501 Singaporeans, this article proposes a conceptual framework to understand how individuals authenticate the information they encounter on social media. In broad strokes, we find that individuals rely on both their own judgment of the source and the message, and when this does not adequately provide a definitive answer, they turn to external resources to authenticate news items.
Published: 21 July 2017
Journal: Journalism
Journalism, Volume 20, pp 695-713;

This study sought to empirically test whether exposure to and use of new audience feedback mechanisms have an influence on journalism culture. Specifically, the study was interested in testing whether such mechanisms impact the extent to which journalists perceive changes over time in their role conceptions. Such an exploration is timely and important. The roles journalists conceive of are shaped, in part, by what they think audiences expect from them. Such expectations are now communicated to journalists routinely and easily through new audience feedback mechanisms: reader comments, social media, and web analytics. Based on an online survey of 358 news journalists in Australia, this study found that reading readers’ comments frequently is related to an increase in the perceived importance of both consumer and citizen orientations. In contrast, perceived effectiveness of web analytics as audience feedback is related to an increase in the perceived importance of consumer orientation.
, Meredith Clark, Gwendelyn S. Nisbett
Published: 14 March 2017
Journal: Electronic News
Electronic News, Volume 12, pp 23-41;

Focusing on the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, this study examined the framing of mainstream newspaper coverage of social media activism in the aftermath of the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. People of color primarily used the hashtag to draw attention to what they perceived as negative stereotypes perpetuated by the news media. The study employed a textual analysis of news coverage combined with semistructured interviews with hashtag-protest participants. The analysis found that the mainstream media followed news production rituals by relying primarily on elite, established sources and generally ignoring the social media protestors’ voices. The social media protestors who used the hashtag said they used it to bypass the mainstream media, and this research indicates they may well have done so and possibly reached a younger generation that relies more on social media than legacy media.
Published: 9 February 2017
Journal: Journalism
Journalism, Volume 19, pp 200-216;

Guided by field theory and the concept of journalistic boundary work, this study seeks to examine whether BuzzFeed, a new agent in the journalistic field, is participating in the preservation or transformation of the journalistic field. This is carried out by comparing its news outputs with those of The New York Times based on the markers – or boundaries – that defined traditional journalistic practice, particularly news values, topics, sources, formats, and norms. The analysis found that while news articles produced by BuzzFeed are exhibiting some departures from traditional journalistic practice, in general, BuzzFeed is playing by the rules, which might explain its legitimation as a recognized agent in the field.
Published: 13 July 2016
Journalism Practice, Volume 11, pp 876-892;

This study sought to understand the role of online comments—particularly uncivil ones—in journalists’ routines. In-depth interviews with 34 journalists reveal they are becoming more comfortable with online comments and often engage with commenters to foster deliberative discussions or quell incivility. However, our data also suggest some journalists feel discomfort with engaging in this way for fear it breaches the journalistic norm of objectivity. Overall, findings suggest journalists are not ceding their gatekeeping role to the public through comments, but rather re-asserting it through moderating objectionable comments and engaging. In addition, findings suggest journalists are participating in “reciprocal journalism” by fostering mutually beneficial connections with the audience.
Published: 9 July 2016
Journal: Journalism
Journalism, Volume 18, pp 281-297;

Rolling Stone ignited a debate in July 2013 when it published a cover featuring alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The online version of the cover story drew comments expressing criticism and support of the cover. A qualitative analysis of comments posted within the first week of the cover story shed light on the image’s institutional meaning for Rolling Stone and cultural meaning for readers. Assessing this cover as a critical incident, this study shows how readers, through their comments, participated in the ongoing boundary work in the journalistic field, joining journalism’s interpretive community in defining professional roles, norms, and routines.
Published: 3 May 2016
Journalism Practice, Volume 11, pp 527-543;

The aim of this paper is to analyse the different ways in which journalists negotiate representations of their professional and personal identity on social media platforms. We argue that the differing representations of personal and professional identity on social media correspond to the professional, organisational and institutional tensions that have emerged in this new space. Using qualitative interviews with various journalists and editorial staff from Australian media organisations across television, radio, print and online publications, we indicate that journalists present their personal and professional identity on social media in three different ways. The first group create public, professional social media accounts, but also create secondary, private accounts that are only accessible to personal networks. The second group either choose, or are required by their media organisation, to only have a professional presence on social media; that is, they have public accounts that are only associated with their media organisation and display only their professional activities. The last group merge a professional and personal identity on their social media sites, showing aspects of their personal and their professional lives on publically available accounts.
Published: 19 April 2016
Journalism Practice, Volume 10, pp 917-927;

As newspapers continue to wrestle with diminishing resources, they have, in part, turned to freelance journalists to help fill holes in content production. In light of this amplified reliance on freelancers, some media scholars have examined the ways in which they fit into the news process, arguing that they have the potential to override traditional journalistic norms in ways that can enhance news work and audience engagement while possibly breathing new life into news organization business models. Semi-structured interviews with 19 freelance journalists and nine newspaper editors in the United States help reveal that freelancers are harnessing social media to engage with and build audiences and individual brands. Freelancers frequently immerse themselves in social media experimentation that editors monitor and often incorporate into organizational strategies that may help inform newsroom practices and audience engagement. This hints at a shift for freelance journalists from the timeworn role of newsroom outsider to one of “intrapreneurial informant.”
Jacob Groshek, Edson Tandoc
Published: 1 January 2016
This study examines contemporary gatekeeping as it intersects with the evolving technological affordances of social media platforms and the ongoing negotiation of professionalized journalistic norms and routines in contentious politics. Beginning with a corpus of just over 4.2 million Tweets about the racially charged Ferguson, Missouri protests, a series of network analyses were applied to track shifts over time and to identify influential actors in this communicative space. These models informed further analyses that indicated legacy news organizations and affiliated journalists were least present and only marginally engaged in covering these events, and that other users on Twitter emerged as far more prominent gatekeepers. Methodological considerations and implications about the importance of dialogic and reciprocal activities for journalism are discussed in building on previous theorizing.
Published: 2 October 2015
International Journal on Media Management, Volume 17, pp 217-239;

To examine how journalists use, and are affected by, social media in their pursuit for speed, this study conducted in-depth interviews with 11 journalists from various U.S. national, metropolitan, and local newspapers. Findings revealed an industry-wide expectation that journalists engage with audiences on social media. But in terms of practice, most interviewees reported that they mainly use Twitter to facilitate news work (i.e., contact hard-to-reach sources) and communicate with other journalists; audiences are rarely their focus on social media. The interviewees were also asked about their perception of how Twitter affects audiences. Most interviewees were unsure of its impact on credibility, but believed that it may promote news use, although not contribute to news organizations’ bottom line. This study offers five reasons why social media are not saving the newspaper industry, and discusses managerial implications regarding the gap between social media expectations and practices.
Published: 6 August 2015
Journalism Practice, Volume 10, pp 967-982;

Live sports blogging is a relatively new form of journalism in wide and frequent use by media companies but has received little attention from the academy. This article outlines a study that explored the belief and value system behind live sports blogging to establish whether shifts were taking place within the professional ideology of sports journalism. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 live sports bloggers in the United Kingdom. The study found that live bloggers retained core journalistic values and beliefs of balancing objectivity and subjectivity, immediacy, providing a public service and editorial autonomy. However, live blogging's challenges of immediacy, interactivity and shifting consumption patterns have led to a reimagining of what these concepts mean and the skills and competences required. Live bloggers perceived their role as community builders and mediators of discussion as well as information providers, and this represents a new openness and inclusivity within the occupational base. Participants did not regard these changes to be a dumbing down of standards but rather a paradigm shift towards flattening hierarchies between journalist and audience. The findings suggest live bloggers have shown a greater willingness to adapt than previous research into the migration of sports journalists to digital platforms has found.
, Mikko Villi
Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, Volume 23, pp 182-196;

This article explores processes of co-creation in the media industry, particularly in the context of magazine media brands. We discuss the content and practices of creative collaboration between editorial teams and online audience communities. Based on two empirical case studies using analytical interviews and focus group discussions, we introduce a new model and framework for analysing co-creative processes. The model of co-creative collaboration is focused on three areas of media work: production, marketing and development. We conclude that co-creative processes between editorial teams and audience communities have a definite impact on the future of media work and media management. Importantly, the work of editorial teams is transformed from content production through creating platform concepts to coordinating, managing and nurturing audience communities.
Published: 20 April 2015
Journalism Practice, Volume 9, pp 580-596;

The participation of amateurs in the production of news has been widely noted as a growing phenomenon. Recent research demonstrates that amateur photographs are understood as raw, additional or potential elements of news content making and are subject to a translation process. In this paper, I introduce the concept of the visual quote to show how news media workers both accommodate and distance themselves from amateur content. In making the connection between amateur photographs and quotes, I aim to shift the understanding of amateur photographs away from the perception that they represent a new form of journalism. Instead I use the concept of the visual quote to identify how news media workers maintain their professional authority over amateur photographs in much the same way as quotes from bystanders are used in written journalism. The concept of the visual quote also acknowledges the role of the camera as a note-taking device in contemporary media use. I argue that the sourcing of amateur photographs is not explicitly disruptive; rather it blends with the existing processes of professional news media practice. It questions claims that the rise of the amateur would lead to fundamental changes in media and society. The research was conducted in 2010/2011 using interview evidence and observations collected at the Australian Leader Community Newspapers chain. Interviews were also conducted with representatives from a further 14 media institutions in Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom. In addition, secondary sources were used to provide further insights and suggest general tendencies in the field.
Published: 13 January 2015
Mobile Media & Communication, Volume 3, pp 214-229;

This paper examines the significance of user-distributed content (UDC) for news consumption, thereby offering an innovative take on mass communication and the participatory audience. From the viewpoint of media organizations, UDC is a process by which the mass media converge with online social networks through the intentional use of social media and other platforms and services in an effort to expand the distribution of media content. In order to focus specifically on mobile news consumption, this paper sheds light on the novel phenomenon of mobile user-distributed content (mobile UDC). Mobile UDC is manifested in mobile users’ ability to share online media content on a perpetual and ubiquitous basis. The study utilizes the results from a survey carried out with Finnish Internet users. The main finding is that mobile Internet users are more active in UDC than those who do not use the Internet with mobile devices. It is thus argued that mobile UDC, as a developing concept, can be used to explain the practices that are characteristic of mobile online news consumption.
Published: 1 December 2014
Journal: Journalism
Journalism, Volume 17, pp 331-347;

Previous research has been critical of mainstream media’s attempts at blogging, with studies finding that journalists are maintaining their traditional gatekeeper function and failing to engage with readers. This study examines the work of 13 journalists who have political blogs on Australian mainstream newspaper websites, with data gathered from a content analysis of comment-threads as well as interviews. Surprisingly, the results show that most of these journalists are engaging with readers, and some have been doing so since July 2006. They regard such participation as an essential part of their blogging practice, and see their role as not only moderators but also facilitators of discussion. These results contrast with overseas studies which show there is a ‘minimalist’ view of participation that dominates in journalistic organisations in the United Kingdom, the United States and Europe.
Published: 29 November 2013
Journalism Practice, Volume 8, pp 229-241;

Reciprocity, a defining feature of social life, has long been considered a key component in the formation and perpetuation of vibrant communities. In recent years, scholars have applied the concept to understanding the social dynamics of online communities and social media. Yet, the function of and potential for reciprocity in (digital) journalism has yet to be examined. Drawing on a structural theory of reciprocity, this essay introduces the idea of reciprocal journalism: a way of imagining how journalists might develop more mutually beneficial relationships with audiences across three forms of exchange—direct, indirect, and sustained types of reciprocity. The perspective of reciprocal journalism highlights the shortcomings of most contemporary approaches to audience engagement and participatory journalism. It situates journalists as community-builders who, particularly in online spaces, might more readily catalyze patterns of reciprocal exchange—directly with readers, indirectly among community members, and repeatedly over time—that, in turn, may contribute to the development of greater trust, connectedness, and social capital. For scholars, reciprocal journalism provides a new analytical framework for evaluating the journalist–audience relationship, suggesting a set of diagnostic questions for studying the exchange of benefits as journalists and audiences increasingly engage one another in networked environments. We introduce this concept in the context of community journalism but also discuss its relevance for journalism broadly.
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