THE CHANGING PATTERNS OF NEWS – FROM GATE-KEEPING TO SOCIAL SHARING

Jakob Linaa Jensen

Abstract


The supply of news is larger than ever, both due to economic developments in the media markets (e.g. the increase in commercial broadcasters) and technological innovations (e.g. the advent of the Internet and the wider access to producing news for existing media operators, citizens journalists and ordinary people). Further, the access to news has become ubiquitous. Computers (desktops and laptops) have facilitated easy access to all kinds of news and recently, the rise of mobile phones and tablets have made it easy to access news anytime, anywhere. We live in a world of ambient news (Hermida, 2010). Further, the easy options of spreading, sharing, altering, modifying and even faking news, not at least through social media sites, contribute to evaporate earlier distinction between production and consumption of news. Citizens can become journalists or, at least, news curators and, contrary, journalists often turn into consumers, for instance by tapping the grapevine of social media when looking for emerging news stories.Although the breakthrough of citizen journalism still remains to come true, citizens play an increasing role in the news cycle by sharing, distributing, curating, commenting and even modifying news they get from elsewhere. This particularly takes place through social network sites Twitter and Facebook, which have become meta media for not only personal contacts but also wider societal agenda setting (Linaa Jensen & Tække, 2013).This paper is a theoretical discussion of such issues and a first quantitative assessment of changing news patterns among Danish media users. The present paper is part of a larger project, Meaning Across Media (cmc.ku.dk) where we in other studies look at Facebook and also on wider aspects of cross media use in Denmark. This particular study is about sharing as an intermediary practice between production and consumption, which might fundamentally alter both. A later stage of this paper (and project) will encompass studies of news sharing practices through Twitter and Facebook.

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