Twitter, participation, start-ups, community, networks and trust are among the topics tackled by research papers due to be presented at the International Symposium on Online Journalism at UT Austin in April.
The international scope of the research is impressive, with scholars from the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Finland, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
The abstracts for the papers have been posted online after a competitive peer review process.Only a third of submissions were accepted for the conference. There was a record 71 submissions and 22 papers were accepted.
My submission with Seth Lewis and Rodrigo Zamith from the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, Sourcing the Arab Spring: A case study of Andy Carvin’s sources during the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, made it through and we are due to present on Saturday 21 April.
The abstract provides a flavour of our research:
This paper is a case study on the use of sources by National Public Radio’s Andy Carvin on Twitter during key periods of the 2011 Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings. It examines the different actor types on the social media platform to reveal patterns of sourcing of information used by the social media strategist at NPR, who emerged as a key broker of information on Twitter during the Arab Spring. News sourcing is a critical element in the practice of journalism as it shapes from whom journalists get their information and what type of information they obtain. Studies into the production of news have shown that journalists seek to cite sources who are considered authoritative since they hold certain credentials. This study explores how the key journalistic attribute of sourcing is evolving in an era of networked digital media – a space that, by its nature, allows for new research possibilities in tracking the influence of sources. Built on a quantitative content analysis of Carvin’s most frequently cited sources, it provides insight into the process through which Carvin, as a member of the professional news media, negotiates information gathering and dissemination in this emerging social environment. The architecture of Twitter means information can be easily amplified and cascade through the network. In this role, the media professional navigates, sifts, selects and contextualizes the flows of data on social awareness streams such as Twitter.