University of Tasmania
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Understanding how social media is used as a news source during crisis events

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posted on 2023-05-26, 01:51 authored by Baker-Dowdell, J
This study explores how journalistic practice has changed since the introduction of social media, with particular reference to the way in which social media texts are used as news sources in traditional media reporting of crisis events. The fast-paced and emotive nature of crisis events when the need for information is intensified, presented against the backdrop of a 24-hour news cycle, provides the ideal setting to illustrate how the immediate information source of social media is changing the way traditional media tells the news. The study focuses on two Australian bushfire case studies from Victoria in 2009 and Tasmania in 2013 for historical examination of the way social media was used in newspaper articles from The Age and The Mercury in their respective coverage of the crisis events. These media practices are explored through a content analysis of newspaper articles reporting on the bushfire events as well as research interviews with the editors of the two newspapers, to place in context the editorial decisions around the use of social media in each newspaper's reportage. The idea that social media texts are an accepted news source for traditional media outlets, particularly when reporting on crisis events, is presented in this study, with additional reference to how journalistic practice will continue to evolve in the future.


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  • Unpublished

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Copyright 2013 the author

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  • Open

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