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Audience views on user-generated content: exploring the value of news from the bottom up

Wahl-Jorgensen, Karin ORCID:, Williams, Andy ORCID: and Wardle, Claire 2010. Audience views on user-generated content: exploring the value of news from the bottom up. Northern Lights 8 (1) , pp. 177-194. 10.1386/nl.8.177_1

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News organizations increasingly view user-generated content (UGC) as a vital resource for audience engagement and empowerment. Researchers have investigated the production practices and journalistic cultures surrounding UGC, but have paid less attention to the audiences who produce and consume the content. This article seeks to fill this gap in knowledge, drawing on a series of focus groups to understand why audiences value particular forms of UGC and renounce others. Further, by comparing focus group findings to data from in-depth interviews with BBC producers and journalists, it explores how audience perceptions differ from those of producers. In particular, the article focuses on why and how audiences value news-based UGC (in the form of images, footages and eyewitness accounts), which is perceived as authentic, immediate and ‘real’. This is contrasted with a dislike for audience comment, or opinion-based contributions, seen as ill-informed, repetitive and extremist. By contrast, BBC producers and journalists are more concerned with UGC as a tool to supplement traditional news-gathering practices.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Uncontrolled Keywords: audience, authencity, BBC, immediacy, news production, UGC
Publisher: Intellect Publishing
ISSN: 1601-829X
Funders: AHRC
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 12:35

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