Live Blogs, Sources, and Objectivity: The Contradictions of Real-Time Online Reporting
In Franklin, Bob & Eldrige II, Scott (Eds.) The Routledge Companion to Digital Journalism Studies. Routledge, London; New York, Forthcoming
12 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2016
Date Written: October 29, 2016
Live blogs, also known as live pages or streams, allow journalists to report on events, including breaking news stories, as they happen. Their prevalence and popularity make them an important format, through which many of the developments in contemporary journalism can be observed and analysed. Using the Egyptian revolution of 2011 as a case study, we carried out a large-scale content analysis across six national UK news publishers, to analyse the differences and similarities between live blogs (n=75), traditional online news articles (n=842), and print articles (n=148). The findings reveal significant differences, for example the extent to which live blogs quote their sources directly and, also, rely on previously-published media reports as a source. The findings demonstrate how, with the expansion of real-time online reporting, journalism may be becoming more transparent yet also more reflexive; prompting, perhaps, reassessments and even redefinitions of media plurality and journalistic objectivity.
Keywords: live blogs, sourcing practices, online journalism, new forms, content analysis
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