Forces at the Gate: Social Media’s Influence on Editorial and Production Decisions in Local Television Newsrooms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

This nationwide survey of news directors at network affiliate television stations explores the impact social media is having on editorial and production decisions related to newscasts. The results show popular, or trending, content and topics on social media are a significant factor in choosing stories to cover. The research examines how these stories are treated in newscasts versus those gathered through more traditional sources. The study also reveals that the reliance on social media content has increased the chances that newsrooms will spread misinformation. A third of respondents indicated their stations have reported information from social media that was later found to be false or inaccurate. Despite this, policy has not caught up with practice. One of the more striking findings of this study is, of those newsrooms that have social media policies, nearly 40% said the policy does not include procedures for verifying social media content before it is included in a newscast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-104
Number of pages18
JournalElectronic News
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • broadcast journalists
  • gatekeeping
  • new media/social media
  • Twitter
  • web/online

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Communication

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