Social media has irrevocably changed how people consume the news. With the distinction between professional and citizen journalists blurring like never before, Digital Currents illuminates the behind-the-scenes efforts of television newscasters to embrace the public's participation in news and information gathering and protect the integrity of professional journalism. Using interviews with more than one hundred journalists from eight networks in Canada and the United Kingdom, Rena Bivens takes the reader inside TV newsrooms to explore how news organisations are responding to the paradigmatic shifts in media and communication practices. The first book to examine the many ways that the public has entered the production of mainstream news, Digital Currents underscores the central importance of media literacy in the age of widespread news sources.
Acknowledgments Chapter 1: Digital Media, Cultural Shifts and Television News Production * The Public's Arrival * Focus of this Book * A Note on Causation: Technologies and Society * User-Generated Content and Citizen Journalism * Social Networking Services * Television News Organizations: The Hierarchical Structure * Canada versus the UK * General Path and Control Structure of a Television News Item * Bulletins, 24-hour News and Convergence * Structure of this Book Chapter 2: Constraining News Production: The View from the 20th Century * Evaluating the Literature * The Two Phases of Research: An Obsession with Constraints * Exposing the Social Construction of News * Planning Routines: Relevance of the News Diary * The Importance of Logistics * Society's Information Producers * The Reign of News Agencies * Pre-Packaged PR News * The Requirements of Objectivity and Impartiality * The Relationship between Objectivity and Sources * Official Sources and Production Routines * Internal and External Pressures * Policy, Routinized Meetings and Editorial Control * Incorporating External Pressure into Daily Practice * Ensuring Conformity within News Organizations * Complexities of the Broadcaster-State Relationship * Instances of Direct Government Intervention * Shared News Values * Images * Importance, Interest and Entertainment * Size, Proximity and Race * Immediacy * Considering the Audience * Summary Chapter 3: The Technology - Autonomy-Constraint Model * Description of the Model * Phases of News Production * Autonomy-Constraint Ratio * Analysis Using the TAC Model and Ratio * Low Autonomy-Constraint Ratio: Transmission Phase - Television * Balanced Autonomy-Constraint Ratio: Transmission Phase - Digital Media * Balanced Autonomy-Constraint Ratio: Intake/Selection and Assignment Phase * Balanced Autonomy-Constraint Ratio: Storywriting Phase * High Autonomy-Constraint Ratio: Newsgathering Phase * Summary Chapter 4: Intake Phase - Information Producers and News Flow * Established Actors * News Agencies * Other News Organizations * Official Sources and the Public Relations Industry * News Bureaus * Unconventional Actors * News Flow Patterns * Development of Public News Production * Social Media * Breaking News * Organizational Changes * Credibility and the 'Bloggers versus Journalists' Debate * Summary Chapter 5: Selection and Assignment Phase * Executive Producers and the Assignment Relationship * General Assignment Reporters * Beat Reporters: The Parliamentary Correspondent * Foreign Correspondents * Investigative Journalism * Digital News Agency Feeds and Social Networking * Inside the Editorial Conference * Institution-Driven News * Creating Themes and Adding the Personal Element * Subjectivity * Line-up * Retaining Flexibility * News Values * Images: UGC, Social Media and Digital Graphics * Interest and Importance * Proximity * Immediacy and Being First * Complicating Factors: Online News, Social Media and Conglomeration * Speed versus Accuracy * Immediacy and Being Live * Summary Chapter 6: Newsgathering, Storywriting and Transmission Phases * Issues of Control * Implicit versus Explicit Control * Editorial Control * Presenters * Packages * Lives * J-Blogging * Social Networking Services * Language * Top-Down Control * Selecting Sources, Challenging Officials and Maintaining Balance * Digital Media and Newsgathering * Research * Locating Sources * Resistance versus the New Cohort * Newsroom Technologies and Storywriting * Non-Linear Editing * Server Technology * Speed and Cost * Improved Workflow * Archival Material * Transmission and Immediacy * Transmitting from the Field * Critiques of Live Coverage * Social Networking Services * Summary Chapter 7: External Pressures - Audiences, Governments and PR * Audiences * Judging Audience Needs * Linking Immediacy to Audience Expectations * Interactivity * Complaints * Campaigns, Evidence and Blogs * Exposuregates and Retaining Credibility * Government and PR Pressures * Public Relations: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict * Resisting Pressure * Lack of Context and History * Time Constraints and the Nature of Television * Audience Attention Spans * Top-Down Pressure * Solutions: Go Online? * Summary Chapter 8: Making News: Power, Journalists and the Public Appendix: List of Interviews References