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Being the media : decentraliseringen av nyhetsproduktionen och dess effekter på tidningsjournalisters informationsbeteende

Tenngart, Mats and Winslow, Mattias (2006)
Division of ALM
Abstract
The Internet provides the common user with a variety of both traditional and non-traditional news sources, and a vast range of possibilities to contribute to the flow of information. By their participation in the production of information ordinary citizens can sometimes function as non-traditional news sources them selves and reach a potentially unlimited audience. The interactive nature of the Internet blurs the line between producers and consumers, and challenges traditional definitions of what counts as "news" as well as who qualifies as a "journalist". The main purpose of this thesis is to examine the potential consequences of this decentralization regarding the information behaviour of newspaper journalists and their perception of... (More)
The Internet provides the common user with a variety of both traditional and non-traditional news sources, and a vast range of possibilities to contribute to the flow of information. By their participation in the production of information ordinary citizens can sometimes function as non-traditional news sources them selves and reach a potentially unlimited audience. The interactive nature of the Internet blurs the line between producers and consumers, and challenges traditional definitions of what counts as "news" as well as who qualifies as a "journalist". The main purpose of this thesis is to examine the potential consequences of this decentralization regarding the information behaviour of newspaper journalists and their perception of their professional role. The study consists of qualitative interviews with six journalists, employed by four of the leading Swedish newspapers, and a review of earlier research in the field. According to the studied literature the potential consequences of the decentralizing tendencies can be described as a move from journalism as a lecture to journalism as a conversation or seminar, but there seems to be a gap between the perceived potential and the actual effects of these tendencies. The latter notion is largely confirmed by the results of our interviews. The potential for information overload is countered by the use of well-tried conventional sources, and due to the perceived unreliability of non-traditional sources the influence of the decentralizing tendencies on the information behaviour of our respondents is relatively limited. Less conventional sources can be of some use in the establishing of an original angle and in the development of a personal understanding, and the increased interaction with the readers can result in useful tips. The contributions of the public can sometimes be newsworthy and influence the established media. This challenges the journalists' traditional role as gatekeepers, but according to our respondents the need for professionals who can filter the increasing flow of information and critically assess sources in line with established journalistic principles has become even more important than before. To some extent the focus of the journalistic profession seems to be changing from the task of creating new information towards an increased focus on the journalist as navigator and editor. (Less)
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@misc{1329922,
  abstract     = {The Internet provides the common user with a variety of both traditional and non-traditional news sources, and a vast range of possibilities to contribute to the flow of information. By their participation in the production of information ordinary citizens can sometimes function as non-traditional news sources them selves and reach a potentially unlimited audience. The interactive nature of the Internet blurs the line between producers and consumers, and challenges traditional definitions of what counts as "news" as well as who qualifies as a "journalist". The main purpose of this thesis is to examine the potential consequences of this decentralization regarding the information behaviour of newspaper journalists and their perception of their professional role. The study consists of qualitative interviews with six journalists, employed by four of the leading Swedish newspapers, and a review of earlier research in the field. According to the studied literature the potential consequences of the decentralizing tendencies can be described as a move from journalism as a lecture to journalism as a conversation or seminar, but there seems to be a gap between the perceived potential and the actual effects of these tendencies. The latter notion is largely confirmed by the results of our interviews. The potential for information overload is countered by the use of well-tried conventional sources, and due to the perceived unreliability of non-traditional sources the influence of the decentralizing tendencies on the information behaviour of our respondents is relatively limited. Less conventional sources can be of some use in the establishing of an original angle and in the development of a personal understanding, and the increased interaction with the readers can result in useful tips. The contributions of the public can sometimes be newsworthy and influence the established media. This challenges the journalists' traditional role as gatekeepers, but according to our respondents the need for professionals who can filter the increasing flow of information and critically assess sources in line with established journalistic principles has become even more important than before. To some extent the focus of the journalistic profession seems to be changing from the task of creating new information towards an increased focus on the journalist as navigator and editor.},
  author       = {Tenngart, Mats and Winslow, Mattias},
  keyword      = {nyhetsförmedling på Internet,elektronisk publicering,journalister,informationsbeteende,informationssökning,online journalism,amateur journalism,information seeking behaviour,Documentation, information, library science, archivistics,Arkiv- och bibliotekskunskap, dokumentation,Press and communication sciences,Journalistik, media, kommunikation},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Being the media : decentraliseringen av nyhetsproduktionen och dess effekter på tidningsjournalisters informationsbeteende},
  year         = {2006},
}