New technologies have always been an impetus to the rapid change in news media practices. Not only have they benefitted journalists in the process of news gathering and dissemination, but they also have enabled audiences to be interactive, allowing them to give feedbacks to the news outlets.
In order to understand how newsrooms use technology and how that technology helps audiences influence construction of news processes, Patrick Ferrucci, assistant professor in the Journalism department at the University of Colorado-Boulder, conducted an ethnographic study. The study examined The St. Louis Beacon, a digital native news nonprofit located in St. Louis.
The Beacon incorporates the views of the community into its coverage by having a “Voices” section, which collects commentary pieces from people in the St. Louis area. The news organization does not run letters to the editor and neither does it publish editorials or take a stand on issues. Instead, it chooses people connected to various issues to provide counterpoints. The space provided on an editorial or op-ed page does not limit the organization because technology allows it as much room to publish as it wants.
Besides Beacon’s Twitter handle and Facebook page, its staffers have their own Facebook or Twitter account and use those to communicate with readers. They all look closely at conversations happening through their social media accounts and incorporate ideas and comments into stories or potential stories.
Beacon editors read all of the readers’ comments and some have significant effects on content.
To read the full text of the study: http://bit.ly/2kX56Ry
Ferrucci, P. (2017). Technology allows audience role in news construction. Newspaper Research Journal, 38(1), 79-89.