Networked journalism: guarding the gates in the social media news environment

Jenny Hauser*, Charlie Cullen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Social media have become an integral part to many journalists’ tool kits, offering both opportunities and posing risks for the mainstream media. This paper analyses the use of social media-sourced content in the news coverage of crisis reporting by the BBC, France 24 and Al Jazeera. Quantitative and qualitative data analysis of social media content examined sourcing routines in breaking news reporting of the refugee crisis of 2015. It seeks to contribute to understanding of how journalists negotiate their roles as ‘gatekeepers’ and professionals in a potentially open, deprofessionalised and inherently participatory news environment.

Based on the findings, the paper discusses the emergence of journalist communities and networks on social media and their tendency to collectively set their own news agendas and amplify voices and information fitting with established professional
routines. The findings are consistent with existing research, showing often highly selective social media engagement. The paper contributes to the analysis of the practices and mechanisms by which networked journalists both compete and at times collaborate with media activists and other users to shape their own news
environment on social media, maintaining oversight of what passes into mainstream reporting. The research argues efforts to normalise social media for newsgathering by professional journalists in an uncertain and highly competitive era for the mainstream news media has had qualitative implications on news production. In
conclusion, it discusses the potential ramifications of increasingly collaborative and interdependent relationships between professional networked journalists on diversity and inclusivity in mainstream coverage.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2017
EventCentre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) 5th International Conference: Bridging Gaps: Where is the Critic in Television Journalism? - New York, United States
Duration: 31 Aug 20171 Sept 2017
Conference number: 5


ConferenceCentre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) 5th International Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York


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