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The social journalist: Embracing the social media life or creating a new digital divide?

Conference contribution
Authors Ulrika Hedman
Monika Djerf-Pierre
Published in International Communciation Association's (ICA) 63rd Annual Conference. London, June 17-21, 2013
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Language en
Keywords journalistik, sociala medier, professionella normer, professionella värderingar
Subject categories Media Studies, Media and Communications


The ongoing social media hype put pressure on journalists to be active in social media 24/7. Professional values and journalistic norms are put to the test and not all journalists are equally keen to embrace the “social media life”. So far, few studies have examined the differences between categories of journalists when it comes to social media use. Based on a representative large-N survey of Swedish journalists conducted in 2011/2012, this paper examines journalists’ professional and personal use of social media. The study analyzes the level, purpose and evaluation of usage among different categories of journalists. The main findings are that there are three main categories of users: “skeptical shunners”, “pragmatic conformists” and “enthusiastic activists”. Furthermore, there exists a professional digital divide between the “skeptical shunners” on one side and the “enthusiastic activists” on the other. The differences in social media use are mainly are associated with the journalists’ age and type of work but also with professional attitudes towards audience adaptation and branding.

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