Mobile sourcing: A case study of journalistic norms and usage of chat apps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Since 2011, mobile chat apps have gained significant popularity worldwide and the leading chat apps have surpassed social networking sites in user numbers. These apps have become the hosts for everyday communication among a wide variety of users and, thanks to the functionalities of certain apps, have taken on new significance in reporting. Especially in Hong Kong (a high-income, high-tech society in which smartphones are in widespread use) and mainland China (an emerging market with more than 1 billion mobile phone users), journalists have turned to these apps to complement face-to-face interactions to gather news. Drawing on a case study building on in-depth interviews with foreign correspondents based in China and Hong Kong, this article discusses how journalists use chat apps and establish trust with their sources. This article explores journalistic sourcing on apps (e.g., encrypted or not encrypted; open or one-to-one communication), and seeks to understand individual and systemic levels of trust. It finds that there are differences of trust depending on the functionalities of individual chat apps, and that interactions in journalistic sourcing in face-to-face and online environments affect the generation and output of news stories. Chat apps allow reporters to use open or closed networks, and adopt one of several approaches: trust the network, master the network, or abandon the network. These findings suggest that chat apps have an important role in communicating with sources, and should be a part of efforts to theorize journalistic sourcing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-70
Number of pages18
JournalMobile Media and Communication
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Fingerprint

chat
Application programs
journalist
functionality
Hong Kong
foreign correspondent
news
everyday communication
China
reporter
interaction
popularity
networking
Smartphones
Communication
income
Mobile phones
communication
market
interview

Cite this

Mobile sourcing : A case study of journalistic norms and usage of chat apps. / Belair-Gagnon, Valerie; Agur, Colin; Frisch, Nicholas.

In: Mobile Media and Communication, Vol. 6, No. 1, 01.2018, p. 53-70.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{52285aee05ab493ab7c36dd6af519f13,
title = "Mobile sourcing: A case study of journalistic norms and usage of chat apps",
abstract = "Since 2011, mobile chat apps have gained significant popularity worldwide and the leading chat apps have surpassed social networking sites in user numbers. These apps have become the hosts for everyday communication among a wide variety of users and, thanks to the functionalities of certain apps, have taken on new significance in reporting. Especially in Hong Kong (a high-income, high-tech society in which smartphones are in widespread use) and mainland China (an emerging market with more than 1 billion mobile phone users), journalists have turned to these apps to complement face-to-face interactions to gather news. Drawing on a case study building on in-depth interviews with foreign correspondents based in China and Hong Kong, this article discusses how journalists use chat apps and establish trust with their sources. This article explores journalistic sourcing on apps (e.g., encrypted or not encrypted; open or one-to-one communication), and seeks to understand individual and systemic levels of trust. It finds that there are differences of trust depending on the functionalities of individual chat apps, and that interactions in journalistic sourcing in face-to-face and online environments affect the generation and output of news stories. Chat apps allow reporters to use open or closed networks, and adopt one of several approaches: trust the network, master the network, or abandon the network. These findings suggest that chat apps have an important role in communicating with sources, and should be a part of efforts to theorize journalistic sourcing.",
author = "Valerie Belair-Gagnon and Colin Agur and Nicholas Frisch",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1177/2050157917725549",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "6",
pages = "53--70",
journal = "Mobile Media and Communication",
issn = "2050-1579",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mobile sourcing

T2 - A case study of journalistic norms and usage of chat apps

AU - Belair-Gagnon, Valerie

AU - Agur, Colin

AU - Frisch, Nicholas

PY - 2018/1

Y1 - 2018/1

N2 - Since 2011, mobile chat apps have gained significant popularity worldwide and the leading chat apps have surpassed social networking sites in user numbers. These apps have become the hosts for everyday communication among a wide variety of users and, thanks to the functionalities of certain apps, have taken on new significance in reporting. Especially in Hong Kong (a high-income, high-tech society in which smartphones are in widespread use) and mainland China (an emerging market with more than 1 billion mobile phone users), journalists have turned to these apps to complement face-to-face interactions to gather news. Drawing on a case study building on in-depth interviews with foreign correspondents based in China and Hong Kong, this article discusses how journalists use chat apps and establish trust with their sources. This article explores journalistic sourcing on apps (e.g., encrypted or not encrypted; open or one-to-one communication), and seeks to understand individual and systemic levels of trust. It finds that there are differences of trust depending on the functionalities of individual chat apps, and that interactions in journalistic sourcing in face-to-face and online environments affect the generation and output of news stories. Chat apps allow reporters to use open or closed networks, and adopt one of several approaches: trust the network, master the network, or abandon the network. These findings suggest that chat apps have an important role in communicating with sources, and should be a part of efforts to theorize journalistic sourcing.

AB - Since 2011, mobile chat apps have gained significant popularity worldwide and the leading chat apps have surpassed social networking sites in user numbers. These apps have become the hosts for everyday communication among a wide variety of users and, thanks to the functionalities of certain apps, have taken on new significance in reporting. Especially in Hong Kong (a high-income, high-tech society in which smartphones are in widespread use) and mainland China (an emerging market with more than 1 billion mobile phone users), journalists have turned to these apps to complement face-to-face interactions to gather news. Drawing on a case study building on in-depth interviews with foreign correspondents based in China and Hong Kong, this article discusses how journalists use chat apps and establish trust with their sources. This article explores journalistic sourcing on apps (e.g., encrypted or not encrypted; open or one-to-one communication), and seeks to understand individual and systemic levels of trust. It finds that there are differences of trust depending on the functionalities of individual chat apps, and that interactions in journalistic sourcing in face-to-face and online environments affect the generation and output of news stories. Chat apps allow reporters to use open or closed networks, and adopt one of several approaches: trust the network, master the network, or abandon the network. These findings suggest that chat apps have an important role in communicating with sources, and should be a part of efforts to theorize journalistic sourcing.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85039915387&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85039915387&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/2050157917725549

DO - 10.1177/2050157917725549

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85039915387

VL - 6

SP - 53

EP - 70

JO - Mobile Media and Communication

JF - Mobile Media and Communication

SN - 2050-1579

IS - 1

ER -