Network Newswork: Social Appropriation of Social Media as Routine Journalistic Practice

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Amira Firdaus

Abstract

Based on in-depth interviews with journalists at conventional news organizations, this paper examines how journalists socially appropriate user-driven networked informational sources into their newswork routines, a practice I term “network newswork”. Drawing upon current notions of networked journalism, I problematize the distinction between “networked” and “network” forms of newswork to explore interlacings between this emergent practice and established news production practices. A comparative analysis of Kuala Lumpur-based journalists from global channel Al Jazeera English (AJE), Malaysia’s national news channel, Bernama TV, regional Channel News Asia, and three international news agencies, reveal that “network newswork” practices are determined by organizational factors and structured by long-established conventional journalistic norms and routines. An organization’s news orientation, as well as its material and human resources
determine how - and if – journalists incorporate “network newswork” into their work routines. Notwithstanding these qualifications, anecdotal evidence as well as journalism’s historical amenability for transformation suggests that the use of user-driven networked media in multiple phases of news production is fast becoming a habitual institutionalized facet of newswork, no more extraordinary than practices like contacting sources via phone or interviewing elite sources. We are thus approaching a time when “network newswork” practices are crystalizing
into a regularized journalistic form we can call “networked newswork”.

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How to Cite
FIRDAUS, Amira. Network Newswork: Social Appropriation of Social Media as Routine Journalistic Practice. Malaysian Journal of Media Studies, [S.l.], v. 18, n. 1, p. 37-55, aug. 2017. ISSN 2231-8143. Available at: <https://jpmm.um.edu.my/article/view/5947>. Date accessed: 06 dec. 2019.
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