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Not Good Enough?: Amateur Images in Print and Online Mainstream News Media
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Media and Communication Science. (DEMICOM)
Nordicom Gothenburg University.
2015 (English)In: Journalism Practice, ISSN 1751-2786, E-ISSN 1751-2794, Vol. 9, no 4, 484-501 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An increasing flow of amateur images of global crises presents challenges and opportunities for mainstream news media. Furthermore, many news organizations now solicit eyewitness reports for near-instant upload to Web editions. Yet, there is a lack of empirical research on amateur images in the regular news flow, in particular in newspapers. Thus, this case study examines the general frequency of amateur content, the gatekeeping process and the opinions of editors making decisions about images for publication in the online and print editions of four Swedish newspapers. Our findings, based on quantitative content analyses and interviews, indicate that a majority of the content falls in the hard-news category in contrast to findings in previous research about user-generated text content. Moreover, it appears regularly but in small numbers in a tabloid-content daily and a regional paper but hardly ever in broadsheet-content papers, and that opinions in the newsroom about amateur images vary from a lack of interest to a stated need for them in the regular news coverage. The low impact of amateur content may be due to the gatekeeping process and professional standards of photography, as well as a lack of audience interest and difficulties in implementing new structures in the newsrooms. In sum, the findings disprove predictions in the literature of a near-paradigmatic rise of amateur content in the mainstream news media. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 9, no 4, 484-501 p.
Keyword [en]
amateur images, gatekeeping, interviews, newspapers, online news, photojournalism, quantitative content analysis, Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-24904DOI: 10.1080/17512786.2015.1030135Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85011029478OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-24904DiVA: diva2:809356
Projects
News image in transformation: A study of the changes in Swedish photojournalism, 1995-2015
Note

Published online 20 April 2015

Available from: 2015-05-02 Created: 2015-05-02 Last updated: 2017-07-03Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf