Sourcing practices in online journalism : an ethnographic study of the formation of trust in and the use of journalistic sources
Manninen, V. (2017). Sourcing practices in online journalism : an ethnographic study of the formation of trust in and the use of journalistic sources. Journal of Media Practice, 18(2-3), 212-228. https://doi.org/10.1080/14682753.2017.1375252
Published inJournal of Media Practice
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Taylor & Francis. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
Arguably one of the most important factors of journalistic quality is careful source selection. Studies on online journalism have revealed working conditions which may lead to poor sourcing practices. This article seeks to answer the following questions: What sources do online journalists use, and how do they rationalize their sourcing practices? A total of 17 Finnish online journalists in 7 newsrooms were observed and interviewed over their practices of source searching, evaluation, and use. The study revealed five distinctive rationales of source use, which I call trust discourses: the ideological, the pragmatic, the cynically pragmatic, the consensual, and the contextual trust. Different trust discourses are associated with different source types, influences, and forms and degrees of source critique. The results reveal – among other things – the online journalists’ largely unquestioned trust of official sources and the cynical re-purposing of content from other media. The study provides accurate first hand observations on the sourcing practices and the results thereof of online journalists, and provides a viable framework for the further study of sourcing practices in online journalism. ...
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