My Books


In Collections


Patterns of Discussion on Twitter around the German NSA Surveillance Scandal

Next up at ECREA 2014 is Sanja Kapidzic, whose interest is in how the NSA scandal was communicated in Germany via Twitter. The public sphere is seen here as having a triadic structure, between journalists, official spokespeople, and citizens. Traditionally, this has been dominated by the mass media, but shifts toward online communication have changed this balance; direct bidirectional communication is now possible between all three points of the triad.

This is especially notable in social media environments such as Twitter; however, new hierarchies and elites may also emerge here. What are the new structures of influence in this context, then?

Four Models of Media Pluralism

The next speaker at ECREA 2014 is Daniëlle Raeijmakers; her interest is in media pluralism. The concept itself is widely supported, but tends to be poorly defined; there are a number of different conceptions that may be used to understand it.

The first of these is a liberal model: democracy functions through social heterogeneity, and media are expected to cover such differences authentically. The second, deliberative model expects that media do not just contribute to a politician consensus, but provide the public debate to construct the consensus, serving as a public forum. The third, agonistic model positions media as sites of struggle, which should cultivate political debate but do not necessarily produce a concensus.

The Three Phases of WikiLeaks

The second day at ECREA 2014 starts with a paper by Christian Christensen, on WikiLeaks. He's interested in the implications of WikiLeaks for the wider media reform movement: WikiLeaks and Anonymous are an expression of the disenchantment with mainstream commercial media, even in spite of such media's occasional ability to engage in impactful investigative journalism.

The Impact of Trust on News Selection on Social Media

Finally, Kristin van Damme is back with another ECREA 2014 paper, on the role of trust in news selection through social media. Social media platforms now play a role as news aggregators where users as well as the platforms are sharing the news; Kristin surveyed Flemish news users on their use of news and social media to explore these issues.

Instrumental and Normative Influences on Users' Media Repertoires

The next ECREA 2014 speaker is Dennis Reineck, whose interest is in distinguishing instrumental and normative approaches to news consumption. Tabloids are a great deal more popular than broadsheets in most countries, for example, but such actual media consumption is at odds with social norms, as people nonetheless agree with standard criteria for what constitutes quality journalism.

Tracking News Use in Flanders through a Unified Media ID

The next speaker at ECREA 2014 is Kristin van Damme, whose interest is in the news media repertoire used by audiences. Audience activities across multiple platforms are a challenge to news publishers, which in Flanders have begun to introduce a unified Media ID audience tracking system across multiple news sites; this covers the entire Flemish news ecosystem.

Beyond Clicks: Understanding News Browsing Patterns

Up next at ECREA 2014 is Tim Groot Komelink, who shifts our focus to the quantification of news usage practices through the news organisations' emerging online readership monitoring practices. This builds on services such a Google Analytics, and user monitoring of this kind has also led to the development of news content genres such as clickbait, and of 'news' operators specialising in such content.

Longitudinal Changes in News Consumption Patterns since 2004

The final session at ECREA 2014 today starts with Irene Costera Meijer, whose interest is in the changing patterns of news consumption – from consumption in fixed places and at fixed times through the customisation of news and the active contribution to the news to the foregrounding of the social experience of news. Research into these changes has largely been based on survey or diary research, or on Web metrics.

How may be able to further examine such changes over a longer period of time, though? The project engaged in a ten-year programme of multi-mode investigations that focussed on exploring actual news use practices rather than on encouraging respondents to offer their opinions only.

Twitter Rumours at the 'Pre-News' Phase

The final speaker in this ECREA 2014 session is Scott Eldridge, whose interest is in the role of rumour and gossip as 'pre-news'. Rumour is institutionally unfounded, and is not part of the discourse of journalistic products – but it is a kind of reality-testing especially when insufficient verified facts are available.

Rumour is the intervention of the unauthorised voice within the flow of information, then. It is a perishable commodity, and historically the development of formal news reporting is a process of sequestering rumour to a handful of defined categories (letters to the editor, comments, vox pops) that are clearly distinct from 'proper' news.

Celebrity Tweets as a Way of Managing News Coverage

The next presenter at ECREA 2014 is Marcel Broersma, who begins by flagging Robbie Williams's recent livetweeting of the birth of his child: such tweets were also used widely by the mainstream news media, of course. This demonstrates the emerging role of Twitter as a newsbeat for journalists, who now frequently quote from tweets in their articles.

This is especially prominent for celebrity tweets, and in a sense empowers these celebrities to manage their public personae without losing control of their privates lives. For journalists and news organisations this is interesting as celebrit sells papers, but it also changes the journalist/source relationship.


Subscribe to RSS - blogs