Neue Publikation: How journalists verify user-generated content during terrorist crises. Analyzing Twitter communication during the Brussels attacks

How journalists verify user-generated content during terrorist crises. Analyzing Twitter communication during the Brussels attacks

 

Social media, and Twitter in particular, have become important sources for journalists in times of crises. User-generated content (UGC) can provide journalists with on-site information and material they otherwise would not have access to. But how they source and verify UGC has not yet been systematically analyzed. This study analyzes sourcing and verification  practices  on  Twitter  during  the  Brussels  attacks  in  March  2016.  Based  on  quantitative  content  analysis,
we  identified  (1)  the  journalists  and  news  organizations  sourcing  during  the  attacks,  (2)  classified  different  forms  of  sourcing  and  verification  requests,  and  (3)  analyzed  the  sourced  UGC.  Results  show  that  sourcing  on  Twitter  has  become  a  global  phenomenon.  During  the  first  hours  of  the  attack,  journalists  rely  on  UGC.  Their  sourcing  and  verification practices vary widely and often lack basic verification procedures, which leads to a discussion about the
ethical implications of sourcing practices.

 

Rauchfleisch, A., Xenia, A., Metag, J., Post, S. & Schäfer, M. (2017). How journalists verify user-generated content during terrorist crises. Analyzing Twitter communication during the Brussels attacks. Social Media + Society, doi: 10.1177/20563051177178880 (Online First)

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Tobias Keller

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