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Appropriating social media: The changing uses of social media among journalists across time

Conference contribution
Authors Monika Djerf-Pierre
Marina Ghersetti
Ulrika Hedman
Published in Future of Journalism Conference, Cardiff 10-11 september, 2015
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Language en
Keywords social media, technology appropriaton, journalists, panel survey, Sweden
Subject categories Media and Communications, Communication Studies

Abstract

The hype over social media and the rapid expansion of social networking and micro-blogging in recent years can easily lead us to believe that all journalists are online, chatting and tweeting, all the time. Previous research, however, indicates that the spread of social media differs between groups of journalists and that social media usage is related to the journalist’s age, gender, type of work and workplace. This paper advances our understanding of how journalists appropriate social media in their professional lives by examining the changes in social media use across time. Has the group of enthusiastic activists who have fully embraced a life online, being connected and twittering or blogging continuously, become larger across time, and are the social media avoiders gradually disappearing? We examine if and how the perceived usefulness of social media for various professional purposes changes over time, and if different categories of journalists change their usage in different ways. The theoretical perspective draws from theories on the appropriation and adoption of technologies. The empirical material consists of two sets of web survey data collected in 2012 and 2014, targeting representative samples of Swedish journalists. Our findings show that the use of social media increased slightly between the two surveys but the expansion was levelling off in 2014. Some early adopters were abandoning social media, and there was a noticeable decline in the journalists’ valuation of social media affordances.

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