Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


5.8 MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS, Journalism, Media and socio-cultural communication

Publication Details

Presented at the 1st. International Conference on Communication and Media Studies, 26-27 March, 2015, Tirana, Albania.


Research into the use of social media by news organisations to source information and user-generated content has shown substantial changes in the news production process. It is argued that these changes are resulting in increased access to established mainstream media for ordinary citizens, mainly through citizen-journalism.

To date, the news industry has been fixated on how free information and visual content shared on social media platforms can be sourced and verified in such a way that standards of accuracy are maintained. While news organisations focus on reaping the benefits of citizen-journalism on social networks, a growing trend of de-professionalisation in the news production process emerges. Journalists are increasingly removed from creating news content as their role shifts towards managing news. This paper examines how companies behind social networks are stepping into direct competition with traditional news media in providing news to audiences, exceeding their role as a public forum.

Current developments indicate that ownership of the news industry will in future be shared between professional news media and technology companies, with the potential implication that at least an element of news production will be entirely market driven. Journalistic standards to serve citizens in democratic societies are at risk of being seriously undermined as the emerging players are not committed to values at the heart of professional journalism. This development requires a rethinking of the responsibilities of emerging news providers in relation to their public service role to citizens.