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Does Using Social Media for News Change Attitudes to the EU?

The final speaker in this Future of Journalism 2017 session is An Nguyen, who begins by focussing on the role of major tech companies in influencing information exposure for their users, which has given rise to concepts like 'echo chambers' and 'filter bubbles'. Various studies have now started to explore the presence of such patterns, building on a variety of data and focussing on a range of contexts, communities, and cases – with highly variable outcomes.

Online News Exposure in Spain

The third presenter in this Future of Journalism 2017 session is Jaume Suau, focussing on agenda-setting in the digital public sphere and exploring especially the role of Spanish citizens as online participants. Spanish users are highly active in engaging with political and social contexts, and this is focussed largely on commenting and sharing news (especially on Facebook and WhatsApp) rather than producing content. News media have failed to harness these energies fully so far.

Analysing Filter Bubbles in the Facebook Newsfeed

The next presenter at Future of Journalism 2017 is Anja Bechmann, who shifts our focus to news engagement within the private and semi-private spaces of Facebook. Here, the Facebook newsfeed serves at least in part also as a news platform, where news stories are shared and curated in a collaborative fashion. News, here, is variously a journalistically, user-, and algorithmically defined concept.

The Impact of Facebook Page Editors on the Visibility of News Stories

The next Future of Journalism 2017 session starts with a paper by Kasper Welbers that explores the gatekeeping role of newspapers' social media editors (who manage their Facebook pages), in part by gathering engagement data for the posts on these pages through the Facebook API. Data gathering here is non-trivial, however, as it requires the regular re-gathering of engagement information over longer periods of time in order to establish engagement time-series.

New Approaches to Regulating Internet Intermediaries

The morning session on this second day at Future of Journalism 2017 starts with Leighton Andrews, who begins by highlighting the role of Internet intermediaries as gatekeepers for news; over the last year we've also seen the early signs of a regulatory turn that has seen lawmakers take a greater interest in addressing the implications of their role.

Using Social Media to Represent 'Public Opinion'

The third presenter in this Future of Journalism 2017 session is Shannon McGregor, whose interest is in the role of social media in the construction of public opinion by the political press. There's an increasing tendency for journalistic coverage to claim that 'Twitter' or even 'the Internet' responded in a particular way to specific political issues and controversies, and social media certainly play a role in how public opinion is shaped, but how might we think about the type of public opinion that can be observed on social media?

Twitter in Brexit and the 2017 U.K. General Election

The first paper session at Future of Journalism 2017 starts with Max Hänska, whose focus is on the role of social media in political debate during Brexit and the 2017 U.K. general election. Max's study tracked tweets including a set of keywords for both events, as well as following the Twitter accounts of some 2,100 candidates in the election.

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