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The Ethics of Citizen Journalism

The final presentation at ECREA 2016 today is by Tobias Eberwein and Colin Porlezza, whose focus is on the ethics of citizen journalism. They begin by noting the current crisis in professional journalism, and highlight the emergence of citizen journalism in response to that crisis. This is capitalising on the advantages of access, diversity, and authenticity that such citizen journalism can draw on, but there is also considerably criticism of citizen journalists for their lack of conventional journalistic training and adherence to traditional journalistic ideals.

The Tweeting Practices of German News Accounts

The next speaker at ECREA 2016 is Stefan Stieglitz, whose focus is on the tweeting activities of German journalists. The study understands the public sphere as defined by a triadic influence structure involving official spokespeople, journalists, and ordinary citizens; in a traditional model the information from spokespeople would be filtered and gatekept by journalists before it reaches the general public, but this is no longer necessarily the case in a social media context. Participation, interaction, and – through this – also transparency may be considerably enhanced by these changes. The question then becomes how journalistic norms continue to operate in this environment. Do these norms still exist, and are they perhaps also adopted and adapted by other actors?

Innovative Journalistic Initiatives in a Disrupted Industry

I missed the first paper in the next ECREA 2016 session because it was too crowded already to find a seat, so we're on to the second paper, by Frank Harbers. He begins by noting that traditional news media are struggling both economically and in terms of their societal role; the period of high modernism in journalism is over. There is a second critique that suggests that conventional journalistic practice is no longer suited to current environments – including especially the adherence to traditional ideals such as objectivity.

Social Media Sourcing Practices in the Czech Republic

The next speaker in this ECREA 2016 session is Radim Hladík, who shifts our focus to the Twitterisation of Czech news. He begins by noting the fact that journalism now exists in a hybrid media system where old and new media meet and interact in a variety of ways; just how these interactions take place is not necessarily clear or predictable, however. In particular, there are questions about intermedia agenda-setting dynamics between conventional and social media, exploring how online sources are used to complement or supplant conventional sources.

U.S. Journalists Attitudes towards Using Twitter

The next speaker at ECREA 2016 is Svenja Ottovordemgentschenfelde, whose focus is on journalists' activities on Twitter. The platform has now been widely adopted by news organisations, and journalists are under considerable pressure to use it to break news, disseminate content, and engage with peers and audiences. None of these pressures are inherently new, but Twitter enables new approaches to engaging in these practices.

The Emerging Role of Social Media Editor in Germany TV News

Up next at ECREA 2016 are Oliver Hahn and Isabelle Brodeßer, whose interest is in the emergence of social media editors in German TV newsrooms. Such editors do not generate content, but are tasked with identifying user-generated content on social media that can be introduced into the broadcast news coverage. But there are problems here with verification, as well as with the identification of the original authors of such content, both of which are very important in news contexts.

Interdisciplinary Training for Journalism and Computer Science Students

The afternoon session at ECREA 2016 starts with a paper by Gunilla Hultén. She presents Storylab, a collaborative project with Svenska Dagbladet, one of the major daily newspapers in Sweden. This brought together journalism and computer science students and their educators with journalists and editors at the newspaper.

Instagram Protests around the 2014 Romanian Elections

The final speaker in this ECREA 2016 session is Darren Lilleker, whose focus is also on Instagram. On the platform, politics has become part of a suite of everyday uses, and this also points to the everyday dimension of political discussion. Some of this may be part of narcissistic self-promotion, but much is also about the social mediation of everyday life.

Twitter and Instagram in the 2015 Norwegian Regional Elections

The next speaker at ECREA 2016 is the great Anders Larsson, whose interest is in the use of Twitter and Instagram in the 2015 Norwegian regional elections. Instagram in particular has ben underresearched to date, especially given its substantial userbase and its ability to attract younger audiences. The underlying assumption here is that smaller parties may be early movers on these platforms, and that such uses are gradually normalised with the adoption by the major parties; this has already been observed for the case of Twitter in Norway.

Instagram in the 2014 Swedish Elections

Up next at ECREA 2016 are Jakob Svensson and Uta Russmann, whose focus is on the use of Instagram in the 2014 Swedish elections, especially by Swedish parties. Instagram is interesting in that it privileges the visual dimension that tends to be underresearched in political communications research. The images that are posted here may be more effective than mere text messages in gaining voters' attention, and are possibly also able to be more persuasive; additionally, Instagram can combine images and text, which may be even more effective.

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