Digitally altered: making news in the 21st century
AuthorGilbert, Caja Louise
AffiliationSchool of Social and Political Sciences
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2019 Caja Louise Gilbert
Audience research demonstrates that online news has become a dominant source of news in Australia, especially for people under 40 years of age. Australians now obtain their news from online sites – such as Yahoo!7 News and news.com.au – in preference to traditional newspapers. Such sites are very important to the future of news journalism, yet they are vastly understudied – especially in Australia. This thesis, based on a study of a major digital aggregated online news organisation in Australia, Yahoo!7 News, investigated the question: How can the study of an Australian aggregated news site (Yahoo!7 News) contribute to our understanding of digital aggregated news production? This research project collected data from observations at Yahoo!7 News, interviews with the Yahoo!7 newsworkers and a content analysis of the Yahoo!7 News site and the Yahoo!7 social networking platforms (i.e. Facebook and Twitter). The data indicates that there were three dominant issues at Yahoo!7 News related to the role of the newsworkers and newsroom practices, the production of news content and the newsworkers’ perceptions of their audience. Firstly, the newsworkers acted as gatekeepers, tightly controlling the outflow of news by limiting the involvement of the Yahoo!7 News audience with the content they generated. Secondly, success was perceived through a prism of the ‘race to be first’, which caused newsworkers to prioritise and value speed and immediacy. And, finally, the newsworkers felt that their roles as news producers were not as highly valued by the traditional journalists. This thesis will analyse and discuss the implications of the findings from Yahoo!7 News and contribute to extending our understanding of digital aggregated news production.
Keywordsnewsworkers; online news
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