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Talking Gatewatching and Journalism at ECREA 2016

Taking a quick break from liveblogging the paper sessions I've seen, I was asked to do a quick interview for the ECREA 2016 YouTube channel – and it's online already. So, here's a quick chat about the future of journalism, and a preview of the themes of my upcoming sequel to the Gatewatching book:

Drivers of Innovation in European Public Service Media Organisations

Next up at ECREA 2016 are Annika Sehl and Alessio Cornia, whose focus is on the presence of public service media online. Online news consumption across a range of devices is now very prevalent, but the online reach of public service news is widely divergent across different countries; in many countries public service media have been overtaken by social media platforms as sources of the news, in fact.

Twitter-Based Journalist/Politician Interactions in Germany

The final paper in this ECREA 2016 session is by Christian Nuernbergk, whose focus is on the interaction of political and journalistic actors via social media. Both now have to deal with emerging personal publics in social media, in addition to their conventional mass media publics; they now need to have in mind a range of such publics in their everyday professional practice.

Repertoire- and Reciprocity-Oriented Perspectives on Journalistic Uses of Social Media

The next paper at ECREA 2016 is presented by Christoph Neuberger, whose focus is on the dynamic relationship between journalism and its audiences. He points out that the complexity of communication has increased with the range of options for communication that have now emerged in online contexts.

Factual Content in a Post-Factuality Environment

The morning session on this final day of ECREA 2016 starts with a panel that emerges from the "Journalism beyond the Crisis" ARC Discovery research project that Brian McNair, Folker Hanusch and I lead. As Aljosha Schapals explains in his introduction to the panel, this explores the changing content forms, journalistic practices, and user reception of factual content, as well as the implications of these developments for overall democratic processes.

Platform Power in Turbulent Times

The second keynote speaker at ECREA 2016 today is Rasmus Kleis Nielsen from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. He begins by noting the rise of platforms such as Google and Facebook as new digital intermediaries: these major global companies enable interactions between at least two different kinds of actors, host public information, organise access to it, and give rise to new information formats, and influence incentive structures around investment in public communication (including journalism).

Twitter in Frankfurt's Blockupy Protests

The final speaker in this ECREA 2016 session is the great Luca Rossi, whose focus is on the Blockupy Frankfurt protests, directed against the inauguration of the new European Central Bank building. These protests used social media as a central means of generating engagement and activity.

Social Media in the 2012 Québec Student Strikes

I'm afraid my blogging app decided to delete my notes on the next presentation at ECREA 2016, so we're moving on directly to the paper by Mireille Lalancette, whose interest is in the role of social media in Canadian politics. Québec experienced a major student strike during the first half of 2012, protesting against an increase in tuition fees but also linking with a number of other social issues.

Social Media Networks in the Tunisian Spring

The second morning at ECREA 2016 starts with Laura Pérez-Altable, whose focus is on the Arab Spring in Tunisia. She begins by pointing out the double articulation of social media as a material object as well as as symbolic and discursive; this also goes for the social networks that are encoded in social media environments.

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?

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