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#InFlux. Journalists' adoption of social media and journalists' social roles

Doctoral thesis
Authors Ulrika Hedman
Date of public defense 2019-09-06
Opponent at public defense Aske Kammer, IT University of Copenhagen
ISBN 9789188212832
Publisher Department of Journalism, Media and Communication, University of Gothenburg
Place of publication Gothenburg
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Language en
Keywords journalism, journalists, journalistic roles, normalizing, appropriation of technology, accommodation of social media logic, social media logic, social news media logic, social media, Twitter
Subject categories Media Studies


#InFlux investigates journalists’ adoption of social media and social network sites (SNS) from the theoretical perspective of journalistic roles. It shows how the social roles of journalists are situated along the axes of formal– personal and news media logic–social media logic: skeptical shunners and activists, lurkers and networkers, news hubs and celebrified marketers, coordinators and ambassadors, professional marketers and pragmatics, entrepreneurs and journalists in incognito mode. The emergence of a social news media logic has implications for journalistic ethics and possibly brings a de-professionalization of journalists. This thesis also shows that social media and SNS had an immediate impact among Swedish journalists and are now regarded as highly valued professional tools. Over time, the initial hype has faded – the general use can now best be described as pragmatic, while the high-end users use social media and SNS strategically for networking, audience dialogue, and personal branding. Journalists’ core professional ideals are not affected by the adoption of social media and SNS. The statistical methodological approach applied – a mixed design with surveys (cross-sectional and panel data) and content analysis of Twitter data – allows for a generalization of the findings to the national population of journalists in Sweden as well as for comparisons between groups of journalists, and shows a way of how to find a representative sample of journalists on Twitter and other SNS and how to make best use of the data collected.

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