Connecting with the imaginary public in online newsroomsInddragelse af læserne og den imaginære offentlighed
Studies suggest that online news journalists are very sceptical towards the value of the user participation, because of what they perceive as poor quality of the public participation, the scepticism varies from one interactivity feature to another and from newsroom to newsroom. This paper examines how online journalists are constructing their readers, seeking to explain how these views affect practices of journalism. Gans idea of the “constructed public” is re-visited, by analyzing the newsroom negotiations between one hand enabling the user participation and on the other hand their very scepticism towards it, dismissing audience feedback because they see it as largely unrepresentative of the general population (Gans, 1980; 230-5). The doors opened by interactivity in the newsrooms, thus equally opens the discussion of journalistic autonomy and specialist knowledge. And guarding the gate can be seen as journalistic positioning strategies and interactivity and mediated connectivity as both vital and challenging for the very field of journalism. This indicates that not only do the different kinds of interactivity seem to imply different kind of readers – they also seem to imply different ideals of creating connections with the public, where some are more valued than others.
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IAMCR Conference 2010: Communication and Citizenship