New Patterns of Journalistic Information Gathering and Dissemination in the Digital Age
This article takes its point of departure in the thesis that today’s global, digitalized and conver- gent media environment has promoted new patterns of information gathering and dissemina- tion within journalism, and war journalism in particular, which involve changing forms and various degrees of interplay between elite and non-elite sources as well as media professionals and amateur sources. On account of their proximity to unfolding events, amateur sources often break the news by means of raw and fragmented bits of visual and verbal information. Elite sources rarely possess the same exclusive access to information from war zones, but are instead brought in to comment on, validate and grant legitimacy to amateur sources as a form of explicit source criticism that we would like to term metasourcing. This new pattern of information gathering and sourcing within war reporting manifests itself most clearly in cases of major international news events, which render visible the multitude of sources and the speed of information production and distribution. A recent example is the capture and subse- quent death of Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011. Based on quantitative and qualitative analyses of the sources included by selected newspapers to report on this event, the current article investigates the following research questions: Which types of sources are brought into play in the news coverage of Gaddafi’s death, and which forms of interplay between sources in today’s globalized and convergent media landscape are indicated by this case?
Digital Journalism, 2013, Vol 1, Issue 3, p. 352-367
global media; war journalism; metasourcing; amateur images; amateur sources; breaking news; death of Gaddafi; elite sources; Faculty of Humanities