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Social media as a news source : how The Guardian uses social media texts to report on crisis events


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Baker-Dowdell, J ORCID: 0000-0003-0439-6703 2021 , 'Social media as a news source : how The Guardian uses social media texts to report on crisis events', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This thesis investigates the significance of social media texts as news sources in traditional journalistic crisis reporting and how the practice of using such texts has evolved. It studies verification techniques and tools used by professional reporters and the impact newspaper journalists’ usage of social media texts has on the quality of resulting media coverage. During crisis events, journalists and media outlets frequently turn to social media in order to understand how and where the event is unfolding, who the main players are and who can help them tell the story. This thesis follows how crisis reporting produced by one print outlet – The Guardian – evolved through incorporating social media into that journalistic product.
This thesis advances the understanding of how user-generated content is sourced via social media, verification methods used and the ways journalists incorporate the texts into crisis reporting. Media coverage of three crisis events over an eight-year period from the print edition of The Guardian was analysed, with data examined during research interviews with media professionals from that publication and social media users. It found crisis reporting has become a more transparent and iterative process through audience participation and collaboration. As such, this thesis contributes to scholarship around the changing nature of crisis reporting and the evolution of journalistic practice, building practical knowledge around how journalists can source, verify and use social media texts created during future crises as this collaborative journalistic practice continues to evolve.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Baker-Dowdell, J
Keywords: Social media, crisis reporting, participatory journalism, The Guardian, journalism
DOI / ID Number: 10.25959/100.00037809
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 the author

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