Social media references in newspapers, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as sources in newspaper journalism
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
Journalism practice. - Abingdon
, p. 1-10
University of Antwerp
Social media are increasingly being used as sources in mainstream news coverage. Yet, while the research so far has focused mainly on the use of social media in particular situations, such as breaking news coverage, during crisis news events or in times of elections, little attention is paid to journalists routine, day-to-day monitoring of social media platforms. The aim of this study is to examine the use and selection of social media as sources in routine newspaper coverage. First, it presents a quantitative overview of all the articles published between January 2006 and December 2013 in the print editions of two Flemish (north Belgian) quality newspapers, De Standaard and De Morgen, that explicitly refer to Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. Next, a content analysis is conducted of a sample of newspaper articles published in 2013 that explicitly mention Facebook, Twitter or YouTube as sources of information. The goal of this content analysis is to examine the different appearances and functions of social media references in the news. The study thus provides a first insight into Belgian newspaper journalists regular sourcing routines in relation to social media.