ARTICLE: Is UGC content changing the role of the journalist?


As news becomes more social, so too, it seems, must the journalists, write Lisette Johnston. In this paper she examines how social media and eyewitness video, referred to as user-generated content (UGC), have been integrated by BBC World News into their coverage of conflicts, with Syria as the main case study.

Study draws on interviews with BBC News staff, a newsroom ethnography and a content analysis of BBC World News TV reports. Results suggest that BBC News’ reporting of the Syria conflict altered as a result of inclusion of UGC footage.

Johnston argues that journalists’ working practices are changing, as is their use of social media and UGC to cover news events. Journalists have been forced to react to issues pertaining to UGC newsgathering, verification and dissemination.

Article Social News = Journalism Evolution? is published online by Digital Journalism. It can be found here.

Picture: Smartphones at Fashion Week by Melissa BARRA, licence: CC BY-SA 2.0


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