Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Is this the future of news?
An examination of
Samoa Topix
Dr. Linda Jean Kenix
University of Canterbury
Christine Daviault...
Journalism...
• Solidified foundation of institutionalized practices of
news beats and organizational routines (Shoemaker ...
...Or Journalism
• Native reporting encouraged and heightened
engagement with readers (Franklin, 2008)
• Shift away from o...
Samoa
• Samoa has profound tensions in press freedoms
• Journalists must reveal sources of any official claiming
defamatio...
SamoaTopix
• Topix receives substantial funding from Gannet,
McClatchy & Tribune Company
• Topix has “combined the best te...
Research Questions
• R1: Do the comments on SamoaTopix illustrate the
potential towards a more pluralist and democratic de...
METHODOLOGY
• Narrative analysis of 103 SamoaTopix Forums
• Narrative fragments coalesce to create a cultural site
(Kenix,...
Results
• R1: Level of debate
• Possibilities:Web 2.0 everywhere (Twitter!, Facebook!)
• Realities: 55.3% social/interpers...
Results
• R2:The News and the Forum
• No evidence of any forum generating news content
• 24.2% forums started with news co...
Results
• R3: Journalism Norms
• No journalism ethics/norms for Topix given that they
are purely aggregators of content
• ...
Results
• Story Sources
• Non-Samoan entertainers most sourced in stories
• Overall 38.4% stories were balanced, 61.6% wer...
Results
• R4: SamoaTopix & Samoa Observer
• Very little overlap in specific stories
• Topix: International - and randomly ...
Discussion
• Topix presents a technologically-deterministic
perspective on its strengths, however...
• Should SamoaTopix b...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Linda jean

86 views

Published on

ISOJ 2012

Published in: News & Politics
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Linda jean

  1. 1. Is this the future of news? An examination of Samoa Topix Dr. Linda Jean Kenix University of Canterbury Christine Daviault PhD Candidate, Otago University
  2. 2. Journalism... • Solidified foundation of institutionalized practices of news beats and organizational routines (Shoemaker & Reese, 1996) • Traditional adherences to ethical norms such as balance, fairness (Singer, 2006) and objectivity (Deuze, 2005) • Online news content assumed to be reputable (Kenix, 2007; Peabody, 2008) and of relevance to audience interests
  3. 3. ...Or Journalism • Native reporting encouraged and heightened engagement with readers (Franklin, 2008) • Shift away from objectivity toward transparency (Kenix, 2011) • Growing journalism of attachment (Ruigrok, 2010) • Little diversity in content (Redden &Witschge, 2010) • Feedback largely non-constructive (Kenix, 2011, Zhou et. al., 2008)
  4. 4. Samoa • Samoa has profound tensions in press freedoms • Journalists must reveal sources of any official claiming defamation & legal fees are paid by public funds • Majority of Samoans live outside of Samoa • Samoans and Samoan emigrants seek out alternative Samoan news due presence of government in texts and distanced geographical proximity to homeland
  5. 5. SamoaTopix • Topix receives substantial funding from Gannet, McClatchy & Tribune Company • Topix has “combined the best technology with the strongest local participation to create the best destination for news and discussion. By giving everyone access to the tools to talk - and an audience to listen - Topix redefines what it means to create, edit, share and make the news” (About Topix, 2011) • “A leading news community…continually updated… thousands of sources” (About Topix, 2011)
  6. 6. Research Questions • R1: Do the comments on SamoaTopix illustrate the potential towards a more pluralist and democratic debate? • R2: Does the discussion relate to the news content in any way (i.e. does it drive news content on SamoaTopix, repeat news content or show no relation to news content)? • R3:Are the news stories that SamoaTopix aggregates dependent upon traditional approaches to journalism (i.e. professionalism, objectivity, balance, elite sources)? • R4:Are the news topics on SamoaTopix similar to the news topics in the Samoa Observer, the national news of Samoa?
  7. 7. METHODOLOGY • Narrative analysis of 103 SamoaTopix Forums • Narrative fragments coalesce to create a cultural site (Kenix, 2010) which becomes an ideological rhetorical force (Chatman, 1990) • Quantitative & qualitative examination of 104 Samoa Topix news stories and 113 Samoa Observer news stories • Sourcing, balance, objectivity, specific themes in content
  8. 8. Results • R1: Level of debate • Possibilities:Web 2.0 everywhere (Twitter!, Facebook!) • Realities: 55.3% social/interpersonal & 24.2% about news • Largely a space to voice ethnic views & ethnic identity • Overwhelming reliance on racial slurs • “Story served principally as catalyst for commentators to express previously held viewpoints on loosely related topics using charged language in an uncensored
  9. 9. Results • R2:The News and the Forum • No evidence of any forum generating news content • 24.2% forums started with news commentary, remaining 75.8% of forums unrelated to news • The more commenting, the more likely discourse descended into ethnic baiting • “They are as stupid as an Oakland Niglett.” • “Bring all your gangster Poly prisoners here and we’ll make them climb a coconut tree upside down...and of course butt naked.”)
  10. 10. Results • R3: Journalism Norms • No journalism ethics/norms for Topix given that they are purely aggregators of content • Most news stories did not relate to Samoa • Web metrics rather than content relevance • 20% of content drawn exclusively from samoanews.com (American Samoa)
  11. 11. Results • Story Sources • Non-Samoan entertainers most sourced in stories • Overall 38.4% stories were balanced, 61.6% were not • Professional divide between stories from more developed countries & Pacific Island nations • PI: Often single sourced transcripts with little context • DC: Multiple credible sources, context, background
  12. 12. Results • R4: SamoaTopix & Samoa Observer • Very little overlap in specific stories • Topix: International - and randomly peripheral • Tourism & Entertainment (21.1%) & Business (11.5%) • Observer: Local focus • Court cases (16.8%) and government policy (8.8%)
  13. 13. Discussion • Topix presents a technologically-deterministic perspective on its strengths, however... • Should SamoaTopix be lauded for providing tools for debate despite their use? • Should Topix be accountable when the tools alone do not contribute to a climate supporting democratic debate? • How can aggregators of content be more meaningful?

×