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Gatewatching Revisited:
News Curation in the Social Media Age
Professor Axel Bruns
ARC Future Fellow
Digital Media Researc...
CHALLENGES FOR THE JOURNALISM
INDUSTRY
• Gatekeeping:
– Multiplication of available information channels
– Declining contr...
(Image by falling.bullets)
PRODUCING THE NEWS
• Traditional news process:
(from Bruns, Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production, 2005)
THE END OF GATEKEEPING
• Gatekeeping depends on:
– Scarcity of information:
information difficult to access for average ci...
PRODUSING THE NEWS
• Gatewatcher news process:
(from Bruns, Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production, 2005)
• Va...
http://autonomousuniversity.org/content/urban-scenes
THE 1999 SEATTLE WTO SUMMIT
THE RISE OF CITIZEN JOURNALISM
(IN THE GOOGLE N-GRAM VIEW ER)
AN INDUSTRY IN DENIAL?
• The Australian erupts during the 2007 election:
– sheltered academics and failed journalists who ...
AN INDUSTRY IN TRANSFORMATION?
• Gatewatching in the news industry:
– News and opinion content sources designed to be gate...
Image by Yea I Knit
GATEWATCHING REVISITED
• Shifting the locus of news engagement:
– Social media crucial for sharing, discussing, critiquing...
#BREAKING: THE NEWS AS WE KNOW IT
BUT QUALITY CUTS THROUGH…
(ALSO: LEE LIN CHIN, ABC NEW S INTERN)
…AND NEWS BRANDS PERSIST
NEW JOURNALISTIC PRACTICES
• Towards the social journalist?
– Emergence of social media reporters – reporting through, not...
NEWS PUBLICS IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE
• “The” public sphere beyond Habermas:
– “The public sphere is rooted in networks for th...
AUDIENCE OVERLAPS
Intersections between top 10,000 sharers for each site (as per ATNIX), Q1/2015
(node size based on weigh...
Education
Agriculture
Literature
Adelaide / SA
Food
Wine
Beer
Parenting
Mums PR
Netizens
Marketing
Investing
Real Estate
H...
ABC NEWS (JUNE 2012 TO SEP. 2014)
DAILY TELEGRAPH (JUNE 2012 TO SEP. 2014)
GATEWATCHING REVISITED
• What to expect:
– Trajectory of gatewatching and citizen journalism from 2005 onwards
– Decline a...
http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
@snurb_dot_info
@socialmediaQUT – http://socialmedia.qut.edu.au/
@qutdmrc – https://www.q...
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Gatewatching Revisited: News Curation in the Social Media Age

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Presentation as part of the QUT Digital Media Research Centre's Seminar Series (#dmrcss), 2 Oct. 2015.

Publicada em: Notícias e política
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Gatewatching Revisited: News Curation in the Social Media Age

  1. 1. Gatewatching Revisited: News Curation in the Social Media Age Professor Axel Bruns ARC Future Fellow Digital Media Research Centre Queensland University of Technology Brisbane, Australia a.bruns @ qut.edu.au @snurb_dot_info http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  2. 2. CHALLENGES FOR THE JOURNALISM INDUSTRY • Gatekeeping: – Multiplication of available information channels – Declining control over information flows – Potential for bypassing journalism altogether • Gatewatching: – Increasingly active, selective audiences – Citizen journalism alternatives to mainstream media – Direct communication between news makers and news users • Real-time media: – Acceleration of news processes beyond 24-hour news cycle – Constant circulation of news and rumours through social media – Always-on ‘ambient news’ channels (Hermida, 2010; Burns, 2010)
  3. 3. (Image by falling.bullets)
  4. 4. PRODUCING THE NEWS • Traditional news process: (from Bruns, Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production, 2005)
  5. 5. THE END OF GATEKEEPING • Gatekeeping depends on: – Scarcity of information: information difficult to access for average citizens – Scarcity of channels: need for careful selection of what news is ‘fit to print’ – Scarcity of qualified professionals: specific skillset required for journalism, training necessary • The end of scarcity: – Information abundance: digitisation of information leads to greater accessibility – Channel abundance: institutions and organisations provide first-hand information online – Proliferation of expertise: domain experts and ‘professional amateurs’ share their knowledge
  6. 6. PRODUSING THE NEWS • Gatewatcher news process: (from Bruns, Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production, 2005) • Variations on the process are possible
  7. 7. http://autonomousuniversity.org/content/urban-scenes THE 1999 SEATTLE WTO SUMMIT
  8. 8. THE RISE OF CITIZEN JOURNALISM (IN THE GOOGLE N-GRAM VIEW ER)
  9. 9. AN INDUSTRY IN DENIAL? • The Australian erupts during the 2007 election: – sheltered academics and failed journalists who would not get a job on a real newspaper – we understand Newspoll because we own it (12 July 2007) – statistical bloggers forever complain … and essentially want polls to be banished from newspapers and public debate except during an election (21 February 2008) • No more than amateurs? – Dan Gillmor: “my readers know more than I do” (2003) – professional journalists vs. amateur journalists, but also – professional psephologists vs. (very) amateur poll interpreters  Science (psephology) beats craft (journalism)
  10. 10. AN INDUSTRY IN TRANSFORMATION? • Gatewatching in the news industry: – News and opinion content sources designed to be gatewatched and republished (e.g. The Conversation) – News formats based on gatewatching: • Live blogs, collating and curating news updates from multiple sources • Buzzfeed-style listicles, pulling together content on specific topics • Algorithmic gatewatching: e.g. ABC News’ “From other news sites” – Emergence of staff roles focussing on gatewatching? • The professionalisation of citizen journalism: – OhmyNews, Huffington Post, The Conversation, … (?) – Many others have tried and failed to be sustainable – Considerable barriers to professional engagement remain ( “random acts of journalism” only by the usual suspects) – Claims of a democratisation of journalism are overstated
  11. 11. Image by Yea I Knit
  12. 12. GATEWATCHING REVISITED • Shifting the locus of news engagement: – Social media crucial for sharing, discussing, critiquing, curating news – Everyday practices: social filtering of the news through social networks ( from random to habitual acts of journalism) – Heightened activity during major breaking news events, assisted by algorithmic tools and platform affordances (hashtags etc.) – Collaborative / competitive activities between professional journalists and ordinary users in a shared, third space – Complex networks of flows between news sites, journalists, users, societal actors, platforms, … – Gatewatching is central to this: tweeting, sharing, liking, retweeting news stories and related material is gatewatching  A demoticisation (not democratisation) of news engagement?  Citizen journalism in a fuller sense of the term
  13. 13. #BREAKING: THE NEWS AS WE KNOW IT
  14. 14. BUT QUALITY CUTS THROUGH… (ALSO: LEE LIN CHIN, ABC NEW S INTERN)
  15. 15. …AND NEWS BRANDS PERSIST
  16. 16. NEW JOURNALISTIC PRACTICES • Towards the social journalist? – Emergence of social media reporters – reporting through, not about social media (e.g. Latika Bourke, Mark Di Stefano, …) – Information gathering through conventional and social media channels – Journalists as story curators, gatewatching and working the story – in collaboration with other users – Both professional and citizen journalists can be social journalists – Influence stems from personal brands as much as institutional mastheads – Impact can (and will) be measured through social media analytics  Towards the quantified journalist?
  17. 17. NEWS PUBLICS IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE • “The” public sphere beyond Habermas: – “The public sphere is rooted in networks for the wild flows of messages – news, reports, commentaries, talks, scenes and images” (Habermas 2006: 415) – Multi-layered media ecology with complex information flows – Multiple, overlapping, dynamic publics that come and go – Competing dystopias: “filter bubbles” vs. atomised society • Based on what evidence? – Need to examine observable (online) reality, and trace real flows of messages – Need to analyse the network structures and dynamic trajectories of publics (from ad hoc to long-term publics) – Need to correlate these structures with other data on societal structures (demographic, social, political)
  18. 18. AUDIENCE OVERLAPS Intersections between top 10,000 sharers for each site (as per ATNIX), Q1/2015 (node size based on weighted degree)
  19. 19. Education Agriculture Literature Adelaide / SA Food Wine Beer Parenting Mums PR Netizens Marketing Investing Real Estate Home Business Sole Traders Self-Help HR / Support Followback Urban Media Utilities Advertising Business Fashion Beauty Arts Cinema Journalists Politics Hard RightLeftists News CyclingTalkback Music TV V8s UFC NRL AFL Football Horse Racing Cricket NRU Celebrities Hillsong Perth Pop Media Teen Idols Cody Simpson THE AUSTRALIAN TWITTERSPHERE ~140k Australian accounts with degree > 1000, as of Sep. 2013
  20. 20. ABC NEWS (JUNE 2012 TO SEP. 2014)
  21. 21. DAILY TELEGRAPH (JUNE 2012 TO SEP. 2014)
  22. 22. GATEWATCHING REVISITED • What to expect: – Trajectory of gatewatching and citizen journalism from 2005 onwards – Decline and incorporation of stand-alone citizen journalism – Emergence of social media as gatewatching spaces – Role of gatewatching in key news engagement practices – Response from journalists and news organisations – Impact on structure and processes of the public sphere – Manuscript due September 2016 – watch this space
  23. 23. http://mappingonlinepublics.net/ @snurb_dot_info @socialmediaQUT – http://socialmedia.qut.edu.au/ @qutdmrc – https://www.qut.edu.au/research/dmrc This research is funded by the Australian Research Council through Future Fellowship and LIEF grants FT130100703 and LE140100148.

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