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The role of genre and network conflict in directing place representations on the online travel guide, Wikitravel.

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Gabriella Sandstig
Martin Hellberg Olsson
Publicerad i International conference “Geomedia 2017: Spaces of the In-between”. Karlstad, Sweden: 9-12 May
Publiceringsår 2017
Publicerad vid Institutionen för journalistik, medier och kommunikation (JMG)
Statsvetenskapliga institutionen
Språk en
Ämnesord risk perception, place, space, travel guides, tourism, wiki and Wikitravel
Ämneskategorier Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap


The underlying puzzle is to understand why social stigmas of places persist even when social risks no longer exists. The media coverage hypothesis states that risk perception among citizens of any country is largely determined by the media information policy in that country (Nyland 1993). It has also been claimed that digital media technologies provide standardized patterns of media production and that standards prioritize certain voices (Kennedy & Moss 2015). The broader aim in this paper is therefore, through the case of tourism risk perception, to understand under what conditions, in terms of policy standards that representations of places are negotiated and contested in a wiki-context. Four core Wikitravel policies were analysed in a framework of network conflicts (Castells 2000), ‘wiki values’ (Jankowski 2013) and synthesized ‘travel guide values’. The results are that both categories of values can be traced in the policies, and that there are cases when tension between the two groups of values can be traced. The representation of travel guide values such as ‘selection’, ‘textual economy’ and ‘nationalism’ are prone to set limits for the wiki values of ‘self-identification’ and ‘co-construction’. The conclusion should not be interpreted such that the wiki values are made to be irrelevant, but they however are forced to work within the given framework of the travel guide. In other words, the conflict is reconciled through the realisation of the travel guide genre being described. The implications are that the ability of editors to influence the open-endedness of place representations is limited.

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