Digital Journalism

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN: 21670811 / 2167082X
Published by: Informa UK Limited
Total articles ≅ 863

Latest articles in this journal

Published: 29 November 2022
Digital Journalism pp 1-18; https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2151026

Abstract:
This study examines Nigerian journalists’ perception of the affordances of recommendation algorithms in news production and distribution on Opera News Hub. The study uses a triangulation of methods involving content analysis, a semi-structured interview, and a focus group discussion (FGD) with content creators, who have been trained in traditional media practices in Lagos, Nigeria. The findings indicate news stories published on the Hub contravene the platform’s publishing guidelines. The Hub’s recommender system is underpinned by “metricisation” of gatekeeping, which affords soft news over hard news. Hence, content creators of hard news compromise their journalistic autonomy and take on a new professional identity in which they engage in a constant struggle to produce sensational content that will attract audience engagement on Opera News Hub. However, there are indications that Opera News Hub may enhance media sustainability and the welfare of journalists in Nigeria.
, Rui Zhu, Li Chen, Zhirun Zhang, Minyi Chen
Published: 24 November 2022
Digital Journalism pp 1-20; https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2145329

Abstract:
As an emerging audience engagement channel for news organizations, news chatbots can interact with and attract audiences in a conversational manner. The present study applies the comparative digital journalism frameworks and examines how society-level factors—such as media systems and information communication technology’s development—explain chatbot implementation on social media platforms. We surveyed 365 news organizations across 38 countries or regions and inspected their Facebook Messenger accounts with a mixed-methods approach. We found that less than half of the surveyed news organizations implemented Messenger, and only 67 Messengers were responsive—i.e. able to produce at least one response. We used the walkthrough method to interact with the Messengers with 22 pre-defined search queries on information seeking and navigation related to COVID-19. Then we used qualitative content analysis to examine the contents generated by the Messengers. Some Messengers are out of service or could only provide limited services (e.g. generating templated responses or closed-ended options). The Messengers in different news organizations demonstrated great variations in their capacity to understand the queries and interact with the audiences and reparative strategies to handle search failure. We proposed a three-category typology of news chatbots and offered practical and constructive suggestions for news organizations.
Published: 24 November 2022
Digital Journalism pp 1-20; https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2142629

Abstract:
In recent years, much has been made of the crisis in local news. Communities across the United States are rapidly losing local news coverage. In response, policymakers and community advocates have sought to craft new mechanisms to support the health of local news ecosystems. This work interrogates the core ways in which community members understand and define the communities within which they live and examines the socioeconomic and media variables that impact how local communities are defined by the people living in those communities. Data are drawn from a national survey in the United States that was designed and implemented to better understand different framings of local communities in the context of media. Findings demonstrate the critical role that media, and the provision of media serving critical information needs, has in the mutual shaping of how community members define and perceive the boundaries of what is local. Subjective definitions are far more prominent and are shaped more directly by media consumption and the context of place. Firm boundaries are hard to establish, but this work points to key levers such as local newspapers, local television, and community size that directly impact how community members perceive their local community.
Yeran Kim, Young-Gil Chae,
Published: 24 November 2022
Digital Journalism pp 1-15; https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2145330

Abstract:
The popularisation of digital media technologies, from the Internet to diverse social media networks, has enabled ordinary citizens to become digital hyperlocal media participants in various localities. The current study examines digital hyperlocal media practices in Seoul from an ontological, ethical and political perspective of care. There is convergence in how digital hyperlocal media constitute a singular form of caring-with, particularly by practicing truth by, for, and of themselves in a locality. In our analysis, care-of-us ethics featured in digital hyperlocal media are actualised in five interrelated elements of ‘space, collectivity, communication, work, and product’—that is, (1) creating and dwelling (space), (2) hosting and joining (collectivity), (3) listening and speaking (communication), (4) shifting and overlapping (work), and (5) versatility and vernacularity (product). Digital hyperlocal media is an incubation (not perfection) of the local public sphere, in which participants, both producers and audiences, are connected as immanent (not established) members of the public, and create threads of potential (not completed) public opinions.
Published: 23 November 2022
Digital Journalism pp 1-15; https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2128388

Abstract:
This article contributes to broadening the understanding of journalistic authority by focusing on the example of local journalism startups in the UK, on the basis of in-depth interviews. The research suggests that for local journalism entrepreneurs, the establishment and maintenance of journalistic authority relies heavily on claims to knowledge of the local context and relationships of co-presence with the local community. As such, the epistemic foundations of the authority of local journalism entrepreneurs are particular to this form of journalistic practice, and closely linked to distinctive self-understandings. For these journalists, the relationship to the local is premised on a strong affective attachment to the material spaces of their communities, and the relationships and networks they have built within them. The paper proposes that the authority of local journalism entrepreneurs is premised on their witnessing in the context of co-presence. The long-standing presence of these journalists, and their resulting visibility and accountability, form the basis for the trust vested in them by their communities.
, Manon Libert, Florence Le Cam
Published: 23 November 2022
Digital Journalism pp 1-18; https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2140301

Abstract:
The online harassment of journalists is a phenomenon which has been on the rise in Europe over the last decade and it affects journalists' working lives. As an expression of mob censorship, online harassment raises questions about how media organisations react to online aggressions targeting their journalists, the consequences on the victims’ well-being and on the role of journalism in society. Yet, previous research has shown the lack of support mechanisms provided by journalists’ employers. In this article, we explore the hypothesis that the lack of organisational support towards targeted journalists is partly due to the challenges faced by media managers when trying to make sense of the phenomenon. This article offers a unique viewpoint on how 22 Belgian media managers from five media organisations struggle to define what online harassment is and how to respond to it. In turn, it shows that the vague understanding of what online harassment is seems to favour case-by-case organisational responses. Missing words and unstructured actions related to online harassment impede media managers from addressing online harassment as a collective issue in journalism and its consequences on the democratic debate.
Published: 23 November 2022
Digital Journalism pp 1-20; https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2136729

Abstract:
This mixed-methods study introduces the concept of journalistic visibility and examines its implications. Drawing on diverse approaches for understanding the challenges of visibility labor and personal branding, and applying them to assessing the impact of routinized practices that can make journalists “local celebrities” in their communities, we explore how visibility may be connected to growing levels of abuse from hostile publics. Using data from 32 in-depth interviews and a survey of US journalists (N = 509), we find that the more time a journalist spends on social media platforms, regardless of the number of followers they have, the more likely they are to experience harassment. Furthermore, the more visible that journalists are—online and offline—the more harassment they experience. This is particularly challenging for women, who not only share more personal information on social media but also experience more harassment. Additionally, we find initial evidence that the frequency of abuse appears to be higher for journalists of color, those who wear religious garb, or those who may be transgender or gender non-binary—altogether pointing to a research agenda for the future study of journalists and safety, particularly in light of the intersectional nature of harassment.
Maria Laura Ruiu,
Published: 15 November 2022
Digital Journalism pp 1-22; https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2142628

Abstract:
This article examines the GameStop episode by contextualising the discussion in the structure-agency interplay to understand the role of social news sites in informing, mobilizing, and giving voice to different social and political actors. First, the GameStop squeeze might be conceived as both an individual and collective agency-led form of resistance to the domination of elite power represented by hedge funds. Second, it might be interpreted as an expression of empowerment thanks to the combination of public affair journalism, coordination among people (Power with), and diffusion of a new awareness and information (Power within) through apps and social site news that “democratise” the access to the news related to the trade market. Third, the episode might be interpreted as a structural-led evolution of resistance/empowerment that is driven by market mechanisms and empowered by social news sites. The case of GameStop highlights the impact of UGC on both global agendas and the conceptualisation of digital journalism, challenging traditional news-making as the pillar of public debate, and the nation-state as the main units of analysis for media studies.
Published: 15 November 2022
Digital Journalism pp 1-19; https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2134163

Abstract:
This article examines a recent regulation in India called the “Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021.” The Rules allow for filing of “grievances” – defined quite broadly – against digital news outlets, who are required to resolve them within a specific time frame or face legal action. This article analyzes the government’s press conference transcripts, PR materials, statements to the UN and in courts to articulate the purported rationale for the Rules: curbing fake news and ensuring that the press is accountable to the public. However, analysis of the meta-journalistic discourse shows how the Rules institutionalize online vigilantism in the name of “accountability.” These findings are contextualized by discussing the Indian media system and the related regulatory regime; and the rise of Hindu nationalism and online vigilantism. More broadly, this article illustrates how online harassment of journalists can involve a combination of grassroots mobilization and state-backed efforts; it underlines the urgency of studying how the “fake news” crisis is being instrumentalized to curb press freedom in the Global South; and it illustrates how press freedom assumes different meanings across a news media landscape segmented by language and geography, as in the case of India.
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