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Journalism and participatory media

Blurring or reinforcement of boundaries between journalism & audiences?
Findings from the “Tagessschau”

                                   Jan-Hinrik Schmidt, Wiebke Loosen,
                                              Nele Heise, Julius Reimer
                                                        @jpub20team

                               Hans-Bredow-Institute for Media Research



                              “Towards Neo-Journalism?”, Brussels, October 3, 2012
Outline of presentation


1.   Audience inclusion: The #jpub20-Project



2.   Selected findings from the „Tagesschau“ case study



3.   Conclusion




                                                          2 of 14
Journalism-audience-relation as inclusion

• Effects of networked digital media are often described(1) – either affirmatively
  or critically – with the metaphor of the “blurring boundaries”, e.g. between…
 • … different spheres (‘public’ and ‘private’),
 • … different communicative modalities (‘mass communication/publishing’ and
   ‘interpersonal communication/conversation’),
 • ... different roles (‘communicator/producer’ and ‘recipient/user’)
• How to assess relationship between journalism and audience theoretically
  and empirically?
• Approach of “jpub20”-Project: conceptualizing relationship as “inclusion” (2)
    •    Six case studies of different newsrooms (TV/Online and Print/Online) in Germany
    •    Combination of methods:
    –    in‐depth interviews with editorial staff and viewers/readers/users
    –    standardized online surveys among full editorial departments and users of online platforms
    –    content analysis of selected broadcasts/issues/articles and users discussions

(1) e.g. Bruns 2005, 2008; Lüders 2008; Robinson 2010; Schmidt 2011; Lewis 2012                  3 of 14
(2) Loosen/Schmidt 2012
Heuristic model of audience inclusion in journalism

          Journalism                                               Audience
    Inclusion Performance                                  Inclusion Performance
Features of audience participation                            Participatory practices
    Work processes/routines          Inclusion Level      Degree of collective orientation
  Journalistic products/output



    Inclusion Expectations                                 Inclusion Expectations
    Journalistic role perception
                                                           Motivations for participation
      Images of the audience         Inclusion Distance
                                                              Assessment of audience
        Strategic rationales                                       contributions



                                                                    Source: Loosen/Schmidt 2012: 874

                                                                                                  4 of 14
Case Study

– Focus today: case study of “Tagesschau”
– On air since 1953; produced by ARD (Public
  Service Broadcaster)
– up to 23 newscasts a day
– most popular evening newscast in Germany
  (on avg. 10 Mio viewers; 33% market share)
              In-depth interviews                   Standardized survey

Journalists   n=10                                  n=63                                       See
              (from chief editor to ‚multi-media-   (out of 130 people in   pre-conference-paper
              assistants‘ *= community manager+)    editorial staff)         (pls ask me for copy)
Audience      n=6                                   n=4.686
              (varying degrees of engagement)       (random sample of
                                                    tagesschau.de users;
                                                    nth-visitor method)



                                                    pls stay and listen 
                                                                                             5 of 14
Participative platforms / channels




                Discussion
tagesschau.de                YouTube   Twitter   Blog   Meta   Facebook    G+
                 boards
    1996                       2006     2007     2008   2009     2010     2012
                   2004




                                                                                 6 of 14
Findings 1/3: Expectations and perceived expectations

                                                                                                       Journalists:
                                                                                                       Now we are interested in your views on
                                                                                                       the audience’s expectations regarding
                                                                                                       the Tagesschau/tagesschau.de – please
                                                                                                       put yourself into your audience’s
                                                                                                       position. How important are the
                                                                                                       following aspects to your audience?

                                                                                                       Audience [all users]:
                                                                                                       Regardless of your own use: How
                                                                                                       important ist it to you that the
                                                                                                       Tagesschau is offering certain aspects or
                                                                                                       features for participation?




n=57-59 / 4641-4667; 5-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Completely unimportant” to 5 = ”very important”;                                        7 of 14
6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
Findings 1/3: Expectations and perceived expectations

                            5                                                                          • To get additional information on sources of
                                                                                                         reporting
                                                                                                       • To have a platform for discussing practices
                                                                                                         and quality of news reporting
                                                                                                       • To be taken seriously by journalists
                            4                                                                          • To have editors be present on social media
    Audience expectations




                                                                                                       • To be able to comment/rate news reporting
                                                                                                       • To be able to contact/discuss with editorial
                                                                                                         staff directly
                                                                                                       • To be able to suggest topics for reporting
                            3                                                                          • To discuss the topics of news reporting
                                                                                                       • To be able to forward / recommend news
                                                                                                       • To get inf. on editorial routines/practices
                                                                                                       • To have editorial staff introduced to them
                                                                                                       • To make transparent which stories are
                            2                                                                            viewed /commented by many other
                                                                                                         people.
                                                                                                       • To be able to provide own material (text,
                                                                                                         pictures, videos..) for news reporting
                                                                                                       • To be able to interact with other
                            1                                                                            viewers/users
                                1             2            3              4                   5        • To publicly show their attachment to the
                                                                                                         Tagesschau
                                    Audience expectations (perceived by journalists)
n=57-59 / 4641-4667; 5-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Completely unimportant” to 5 = ”very important”;                                         8 of 14
6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
Findings 2/3: (Perceived) Reasons for participation (meta)

                                                                                                        Journalists:
                                                                                                        Viewers/users who comment (e.g.
                                                                                                        reacting to a newscast or a story) or
                                                                                                        participate in a different way will have
                                                                                                        certain goals in mind. We have listed
                                                                                                        some possible explanation; what do you
                                                                                                        think: how important are the following
                                                                                                        reasons for people who participate in
                                                                                                        Tagesschau/ tagesschau.de?

                                                                                                        Audience [only active users]:
                                                                                                        Now please tell us about your reasons
                                                                                                        for [participatory practice].

                                                                                                        Depending on actual
                                                                                                        answers, [participatory practice] read:
                                                                                                        - Sending (E-)Mail to the editors
                                                                                                        - Commenting on meta.tagesschau.de
                                                                                                        - Commenting on Tagesschau blog
                                                                                                        - Commenting on Tagesschau FB page




n=57-59 / 382-390; 5-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Completely unimportant”/”Disagree completely”                                             9 of 14
to 5 = ”very important” / “agree completely”; 6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
Findings 2/3: (Perceived) Reasons for participation (meta)

                              5                                                                         •       To state my/their opinion publicly
                                                                                                        •       To propose a topic that is important
                                                                                                                to me/them
                                                                                                        •       To expand my/their own knowledge
                                                                                                                by interacting with journalists and
                              4                                                                                 other viewers/users
    Dis-/agreement audience




                                                                                                        •       To share knowledge and experiences
                                                                                                        •       To leave the passive viewer’s role
                                                                                                        •       To point out errors in news stories
                              3                                                                         •       To support and advocate a certain
                                                                                                                concern, event or group
                                                                                                        •       To fulfill my/their civic obligations
                                                                                                        •       To assist the journalists in their work
                                                                                                        •       To feel included in a community
                              2                                                                         •       For self-expression and self-display
                                                                                                        •       To vent anger and frustration
                                                                                                        •       To find help with a problem
                                                                                                        •       Out of boredom
                              1                                                                         •       To build relationship with editors

                                  1   2                3                   4                    5
                                      Dis-/agreement journalists
n=57-59 / 382-390; 5-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Completely unimportant”/”Disagree completely”                                                  10 of 14
to 5 = ”very important” / “agree completely”; 6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
Findings 3/3: Journalistic Self-Image/image among audience

                                                                                                         Journalists:
                                                                                                         The following question addresses your
                                                                                                         understanding of the journalistic
                                                                                                         profession, i.e. which goals to fulfill in
                                                                                                         your professional work.
                                                                                                         What are your personal goals in your
                                                                                                         profession?



                                                                                                         Audience [all users]:
                                                                                                         We now want to know what you
                                                                                                         consider to be important tasks for
                                                                                                         journalists of the Tagesschau (on TV as
                                                                                                         well as online).
                                                                                                         Tagesschau journalists should…




n=60-63 / 4570-4636; 5-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Do not agree at all” to 5 = ”Do agree completely”;                                         11 of 14
6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
Findings 3/3: Journalistic Self-Image/image among audience
                                                                                                     •   inform as objective and precise as possible
                          5                                                                          •   explain and convey complex issues
                                                                                                     •   criticise problems and grievances
                                                                                                     •   point to interesting topics and further inf.
                                                                                                     •   inform audience as fast as possible
                                                                                                     •   show new trends and highlight new ideas
                          4
                                                                                                     •   control politics, business and society
   Image among audience




                                                                                                     •   give the audience topics to talk about
                                                                                                     •   give audience opportunity to express
                                                                                                         opinion on topics of public interest
                                                                                                     •   get into conversation about current events
                          3
                                                                                                     •   share positive ideals
                                                                                                     •   Encourage/moderate discu. among audience
                                                                                                     •   present my own ideas to audience
                                                                                                     •   concentrate on news that is interesting to an
                                                                                                         audience as wide as possible
                          2
                                                                                                     •   Build/maintain relationship to audience
                                                                                                     •   provide people with opportunity to publish
                                                                                                         their own content
                                                                                                     •   provide useful information for the audience
                                                                                                         and act as advisor / guidance
                          1                                                                          •   provide entertainment and relaxation
                              1   2                   3                    4                   5     •   provide audience with opportunity to
                                                                                                         maintain ties among themselves
                                      Journalistic Self-Image
n=60-63 / 4570-4636; 5-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Do not agree at all” to 5 = ”Do agree completely”;                                        12 of 14
6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
Summary

•   Whether digital networked media are indeed „blurring boundaries“ between journalists
    and audience can be analysed (theoretically & empirically) through concept of inclusion
•   Case study on Tagesschau has shown…
   • … in the pre-conference-paper (focussing on Tagesschau journalists)
      Journalistic routines are opened towards audience inclusion
      (e.g. offering participatory spaces; treating UGC as potential source)…
      … but at the same time journalistic identity is defended
      (e.g. separating news reporting from comments; assessing UGC through same
      journalistic filters as other sources; emphasizing ‚gatekeeper‘ function)
   • … in this presentation (focussing on inclusion distance)
      By and large expectations and images of journalists and audience members are
      congruent…
      … but notable incongruence: journalists assume „self-centered“ motivations for
      participation, while active audience rates knowledge exchange higher
• Preliminary conclusion for Tagesschau: Audience inclusion might blur boundaries
  through shared mutual knowledge and transparency, but will actually enforce
  boundaries with respect to core journalistic functions
                                                                                       13 of 14
Thank you!

      Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt


      Hans-Bredow-Institut
Warburgstr. 8-10, 20354 Hamburg
j.schmidt@hans-bredow-institut.de


  www.hans-bredow-institut.de
 jpub20.hans-bredow-institut.de
         @jpub20team



                                    14 of 14
Bibliography

•   Bruns, A. (2005). Gatewatching. Collaborative Online News Production. New York: Peter Lang.
•   Bruns, A. (2008). Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and beyond. From production to produsage. New York: Peter
    Lang.
•   Lewis, S. C. (2012). The tension between professional control and open participation: Journalism and its
    boundaries. Information, Communication & Society, 15(6), 836–866.
•   Loosen, W., & Schmidt, J.-H. (2012). (Re-)Discovering the audience: The relationship between journalism and
    audience in networked digital media. Information, Communication & Society, 15(6), 867–887.
•   Lüders, M. (2008). Conceptualizing personal media. New Media & Society, 10(5), 683–702.
•   Robinson, S. (2010). Traditionalists vs. Convergers: Textual Privilege, Boundary Work, and the Journalist-
    Audience Relationship in the Commenting Policies of Online News Sites. Convergence: The International
    Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 16(1), 125–143.
•   Schmidt, J.-H. (2011). (Micro)blogs: practices of privacy management. In S. Trepte & L. Reinecke (Eds.), Privacy
    Online. Perspectives on privacy and self-disclosure in the Social Web (pp. 159–173). Berlin: Springer Science &
    Business Media.
•   Schmidt, J-H., Loosen, W., Heise, N., & Reimer, J. (2012) Journalism and participatory practices – Blurring or
    reinforcement of boundaries between journalism and audiences? . Pre-conference Paper, „Towards Neo-
    Journalism? Redefining, Extending or Reconfiguring a Profession”, 3./4. October 2012, Brussels




                                                                                                                     15 of 14

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Journalists and participatory media

  • 1. Journalism and participatory media Blurring or reinforcement of boundaries between journalism & audiences? Findings from the “Tagessschau” Jan-Hinrik Schmidt, Wiebke Loosen, Nele Heise, Julius Reimer @jpub20team Hans-Bredow-Institute for Media Research “Towards Neo-Journalism?”, Brussels, October 3, 2012
  • 2. Outline of presentation 1. Audience inclusion: The #jpub20-Project 2. Selected findings from the „Tagesschau“ case study 3. Conclusion 2 of 14
  • 3. Journalism-audience-relation as inclusion • Effects of networked digital media are often described(1) – either affirmatively or critically – with the metaphor of the “blurring boundaries”, e.g. between… • … different spheres (‘public’ and ‘private’), • … different communicative modalities (‘mass communication/publishing’ and ‘interpersonal communication/conversation’), • ... different roles (‘communicator/producer’ and ‘recipient/user’) • How to assess relationship between journalism and audience theoretically and empirically? • Approach of “jpub20”-Project: conceptualizing relationship as “inclusion” (2) • Six case studies of different newsrooms (TV/Online and Print/Online) in Germany • Combination of methods: – in‐depth interviews with editorial staff and viewers/readers/users – standardized online surveys among full editorial departments and users of online platforms – content analysis of selected broadcasts/issues/articles and users discussions (1) e.g. Bruns 2005, 2008; Lüders 2008; Robinson 2010; Schmidt 2011; Lewis 2012 3 of 14 (2) Loosen/Schmidt 2012
  • 4. Heuristic model of audience inclusion in journalism Journalism Audience Inclusion Performance Inclusion Performance Features of audience participation Participatory practices Work processes/routines Inclusion Level Degree of collective orientation Journalistic products/output Inclusion Expectations Inclusion Expectations Journalistic role perception Motivations for participation Images of the audience Inclusion Distance Assessment of audience Strategic rationales contributions Source: Loosen/Schmidt 2012: 874 4 of 14
  • 5. Case Study – Focus today: case study of “Tagesschau” – On air since 1953; produced by ARD (Public Service Broadcaster) – up to 23 newscasts a day – most popular evening newscast in Germany (on avg. 10 Mio viewers; 33% market share) In-depth interviews Standardized survey Journalists n=10 n=63 See (from chief editor to ‚multi-media- (out of 130 people in pre-conference-paper assistants‘ *= community manager+) editorial staff) (pls ask me for copy) Audience n=6 n=4.686 (varying degrees of engagement) (random sample of tagesschau.de users; nth-visitor method) pls stay and listen  5 of 14
  • 6. Participative platforms / channels Discussion tagesschau.de YouTube Twitter Blog Meta Facebook G+ boards 1996 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2012 2004 6 of 14
  • 7. Findings 1/3: Expectations and perceived expectations Journalists: Now we are interested in your views on the audience’s expectations regarding the Tagesschau/tagesschau.de – please put yourself into your audience’s position. How important are the following aspects to your audience? Audience [all users]: Regardless of your own use: How important ist it to you that the Tagesschau is offering certain aspects or features for participation? n=57-59 / 4641-4667; 5-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Completely unimportant” to 5 = ”very important”; 7 of 14 6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
  • 8. Findings 1/3: Expectations and perceived expectations 5 • To get additional information on sources of reporting • To have a platform for discussing practices and quality of news reporting • To be taken seriously by journalists 4 • To have editors be present on social media Audience expectations • To be able to comment/rate news reporting • To be able to contact/discuss with editorial staff directly • To be able to suggest topics for reporting 3 • To discuss the topics of news reporting • To be able to forward / recommend news • To get inf. on editorial routines/practices • To have editorial staff introduced to them • To make transparent which stories are 2 viewed /commented by many other people. • To be able to provide own material (text, pictures, videos..) for news reporting • To be able to interact with other 1 viewers/users 1 2 3 4 5 • To publicly show their attachment to the Tagesschau Audience expectations (perceived by journalists) n=57-59 / 4641-4667; 5-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Completely unimportant” to 5 = ”very important”; 8 of 14 6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
  • 9. Findings 2/3: (Perceived) Reasons for participation (meta) Journalists: Viewers/users who comment (e.g. reacting to a newscast or a story) or participate in a different way will have certain goals in mind. We have listed some possible explanation; what do you think: how important are the following reasons for people who participate in Tagesschau/ tagesschau.de? Audience [only active users]: Now please tell us about your reasons for [participatory practice]. Depending on actual answers, [participatory practice] read: - Sending (E-)Mail to the editors - Commenting on meta.tagesschau.de - Commenting on Tagesschau blog - Commenting on Tagesschau FB page n=57-59 / 382-390; 5-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Completely unimportant”/”Disagree completely” 9 of 14 to 5 = ”very important” / “agree completely”; 6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
  • 10. Findings 2/3: (Perceived) Reasons for participation (meta) 5 • To state my/their opinion publicly • To propose a topic that is important to me/them • To expand my/their own knowledge by interacting with journalists and 4 other viewers/users Dis-/agreement audience • To share knowledge and experiences • To leave the passive viewer’s role • To point out errors in news stories 3 • To support and advocate a certain concern, event or group • To fulfill my/their civic obligations • To assist the journalists in their work • To feel included in a community 2 • For self-expression and self-display • To vent anger and frustration • To find help with a problem • Out of boredom 1 • To build relationship with editors 1 2 3 4 5 Dis-/agreement journalists n=57-59 / 382-390; 5-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Completely unimportant”/”Disagree completely” 10 of 14 to 5 = ”very important” / “agree completely”; 6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
  • 11. Findings 3/3: Journalistic Self-Image/image among audience Journalists: The following question addresses your understanding of the journalistic profession, i.e. which goals to fulfill in your professional work. What are your personal goals in your profession? Audience [all users]: We now want to know what you consider to be important tasks for journalists of the Tagesschau (on TV as well as online). Tagesschau journalists should… n=60-63 / 4570-4636; 5-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Do not agree at all” to 5 = ”Do agree completely”; 11 of 14 6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
  • 12. Findings 3/3: Journalistic Self-Image/image among audience • inform as objective and precise as possible 5 • explain and convey complex issues • criticise problems and grievances • point to interesting topics and further inf. • inform audience as fast as possible • show new trends and highlight new ideas 4 • control politics, business and society Image among audience • give the audience topics to talk about • give audience opportunity to express opinion on topics of public interest • get into conversation about current events 3 • share positive ideals • Encourage/moderate discu. among audience • present my own ideas to audience • concentrate on news that is interesting to an audience as wide as possible 2 • Build/maintain relationship to audience • provide people with opportunity to publish their own content • provide useful information for the audience and act as advisor / guidance 1 • provide entertainment and relaxation 1 2 3 4 5 • provide audience with opportunity to maintain ties among themselves Journalistic Self-Image n=60-63 / 4570-4636; 5-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Do not agree at all” to 5 = ”Do agree completely”; 12 of 14 6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
  • 13. Summary • Whether digital networked media are indeed „blurring boundaries“ between journalists and audience can be analysed (theoretically & empirically) through concept of inclusion • Case study on Tagesschau has shown… • … in the pre-conference-paper (focussing on Tagesschau journalists) Journalistic routines are opened towards audience inclusion (e.g. offering participatory spaces; treating UGC as potential source)… … but at the same time journalistic identity is defended (e.g. separating news reporting from comments; assessing UGC through same journalistic filters as other sources; emphasizing ‚gatekeeper‘ function) • … in this presentation (focussing on inclusion distance) By and large expectations and images of journalists and audience members are congruent… … but notable incongruence: journalists assume „self-centered“ motivations for participation, while active audience rates knowledge exchange higher • Preliminary conclusion for Tagesschau: Audience inclusion might blur boundaries through shared mutual knowledge and transparency, but will actually enforce boundaries with respect to core journalistic functions 13 of 14
  • 14. Thank you! Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt Hans-Bredow-Institut Warburgstr. 8-10, 20354 Hamburg j.schmidt@hans-bredow-institut.de www.hans-bredow-institut.de jpub20.hans-bredow-institut.de @jpub20team 14 of 14
  • 15. Bibliography • Bruns, A. (2005). Gatewatching. Collaborative Online News Production. New York: Peter Lang. • Bruns, A. (2008). Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and beyond. From production to produsage. New York: Peter Lang. • Lewis, S. C. (2012). The tension between professional control and open participation: Journalism and its boundaries. Information, Communication & Society, 15(6), 836–866. • Loosen, W., & Schmidt, J.-H. (2012). (Re-)Discovering the audience: The relationship between journalism and audience in networked digital media. Information, Communication & Society, 15(6), 867–887. • Lüders, M. (2008). Conceptualizing personal media. New Media & Society, 10(5), 683–702. • Robinson, S. (2010). Traditionalists vs. Convergers: Textual Privilege, Boundary Work, and the Journalist- Audience Relationship in the Commenting Policies of Online News Sites. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 16(1), 125–143. • Schmidt, J.-H. (2011). (Micro)blogs: practices of privacy management. In S. Trepte & L. Reinecke (Eds.), Privacy Online. Perspectives on privacy and self-disclosure in the Social Web (pp. 159–173). Berlin: Springer Science & Business Media. • Schmidt, J-H., Loosen, W., Heise, N., & Reimer, J. (2012) Journalism and participatory practices – Blurring or reinforcement of boundaries between journalism and audiences? . Pre-conference Paper, „Towards Neo- Journalism? Redefining, Extending or Reconfiguring a Profession”, 3./4. October 2012, Brussels 15 of 14