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Journalists and participatory media


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Presentation at the "Neo-Journalism" conference, 3/4th october 2012, Brussels

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Journalists and participatory media

  1. 1. Journalism and participatory mediaBlurring 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. 2. Outline of presentation1. Audience inclusion: The #jpub20-Project2. Selected findings from the „Tagesschau“ case study3. Conclusion 2 of 14
  3. 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. 4. Heuristic model of audience inclusion in journalism Journalism Audience Inclusion Performance Inclusion PerformanceFeatures 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. 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 surveyJournalists 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 users; nth-visitor method) pls stay and listen  5 of 14
  6. 6. Participative platforms / channels YouTube Twitter Blog Meta Facebook G+ boards 1996 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2012 2004 6 of 14
  7. 7. Findings 1/3: Expectations and perceived expectations Journalists: Now we are interested in your views on the audience’s expectations regarding the Tagesschau/ – 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 146 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
  8. 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 146 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
  9. 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/ 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 - Commenting on Tagesschau blog - Commenting on Tagesschau FB pagen=57-59 / 382-390; 5-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Completely unimportant”/”Disagree completely” 9 of 14to 5 = ”very important” / “agree completely”; 6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
  10. 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 journalistsn=57-59 / 382-390; 5-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Completely unimportant”/”Disagree completely” 10 of 14to 5 = ”very important” / “agree completely”; 6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
  11. 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 146 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
  12. 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-Imagen=60-63 / 4570-4636; 5-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Do not agree at all” to 5 = ”Do agree completely”; 12 of 146 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
  13. 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. 14. Thank you! Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt Hans-Bredow-InstitutWarburgstr. 8-10, 20354 @jpub20team 14 of 14
  15. 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