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Public participation in TV newsExpectations and practices of audience inclusion at the “Tagesschau”                       ...
Outline1.   Audience participation as inclusion: the #jpub20-project2.   Case study “Tagesschau”: methodology and findings...
Studying the relation of journalism and audience• “Audience” is constitutive for journalism – practically and normatively•...
Studying the relation of journalism and audience• “Audience” is constitutive for journalism – practically and normatively•...
Audience inclusion in journalism          Journalism                              Audience    Inclusion Performance       ...
Audience inclusion in journalism          Journalism                                               Audience    Inclusion P...
Introducing the “Tagesschau”– On air since 1953; produced by “ARD  Aktuell” (Public Service Broadcast)– Up to 23 newscasts...
Participatory (online) features at the “Tagesschau”tagesschau.de
Participatory (online) features at the “Tagesschau”tagesschau.de   Meta
Participatory (online) features at the “Tagesschau”tagesschau.de   Meta        Blog
Participatory (online) features at the “Tagesschau”tagesschau.de   Meta        Blog           Facebook
Participatory (online) features at the “Tagesschau”tagesschau.de   Meta   Twitter   Blog   YouTube   Facebook   Google+
Case study “Tagesschau”              In-depth interviews               Standardized online survey       Content AnalysesJo...
Findings (I):Journalistic functions and role conceptions
What journalists want to (and what they should) do                                                                        ...
What journalists want to (and what they should) do                                                                        ...
What journalists want to (and what they should) do                                                                        ...
What journalists want to (and what they should) do                                                                        ...
Findings (II):Participatory practices
Participatory features: use and frequency of use•   19 % of the respondents have sent letters, e-mails or faxes to the “Ta...
Findings (III):Motivations for participation
User‘s motivations for participation• Rated by active users of Audience Mail (n=38), Meta (n=390), Blog (n=45)  and Facebo...
(Assumed) reasons for participation                                                           Journalists            Meta ...
Findings (IV):Reasons for not being active
Reasons for non-participation•      almost half of the user sample (49.3 %) has never been activeTop 5 reasons (n=2.249)  ...
Findings (V):Expectations towards participatory features
(Assumed) importance of participatory functions                                                                           ...
Conclusion•   Our case study “Tagesschau” has shown that …    • … with the introduction of new participatory features also...
Conclusion•   Audience‘s desire for transparency is underestimated by the journalists …    •   regarding journalistic rout...
Thank you!        Nele Heise & Julius Reimer          Hans-Bredow-Institut    Warburgstr. 8-10, 20354 Hamburg{n.heise;j.re...
Bibliography•   Bruns, A. (2005). Gatewatching. Collaborative Online News Production. New York: Peter Lang.•   Bruns, A. (...
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Public Participation in TV News. Expectations and Practices of Audience Inclusion

Presentation for the Erasmus Mundus class "Journalism and its Audience” at Hamburg University, January 8th, 2013

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Public Participation in TV News. Expectations and Practices of Audience Inclusion

  1. 1. Public participation in TV newsExpectations and practices of audience inclusion at the “Tagesschau” Nele Heise, Julius Reimer Hans-Bredow-Institute for Media Research Course: “Journalism and its audience” (Loosen/Pater) IJK @ University of Hamburg – January 08, 2013
  2. 2. Outline1. Audience participation as inclusion: the #jpub20-project2. Case study “Tagesschau”: methodology and findings3. Conclusion
  3. 3. Studying the relation of journalism and audience• “Audience” is constitutive for journalism – practically and normatively• Under mass-media conditions the audience has played a rather subordinate role in everyday newsroom routines• Under social-media conditions, audience activities become more visible for journalists (e.g. UGC, user feedback), thus contributing to shifting/blurring boundaries (1) (1) e.g. Bruns 2005, 2008; Robinson 2010; Lewis 2012
  4. 4. Studying the relation of journalism and audience• “Audience” is constitutive for journalism – practically and normatively• Under mass-media conditions the audience has played a rather subordinate role in everyday newsroom routines• Under social-media conditions, audience activities become more visible for journalists (e.g. UGC, user feedback), thus contributing to shifting/blurring boundaries (1)• But: How to assess the relationship between journalism and audience?• Approach of “jpub20”-Project: conceptualizing relationship as “inclusion” (2) • Six case studies of different newsrooms (TV/Online and Print/Online) in Germany • Combination of methods: in‐depth interviews, standardized online surveys content analyses • Aim: analyze inclusion performances and expectations towards audience inclusion among journalists as well as audience members (1) e.g. Bruns 2005, 2008; Robinson 2010; Lewis 2012 (2) Loosen/Schmidt 2012
  5. 5. Audience inclusion in journalism Journalism Audience Inclusion Performance Inclusion PerformanceFeatures of audience participation Participatory practices Work processes/routines Degree of community orientation Journalistic products/output Inclusion Expectations Inclusion Expectations Journalistic role perception Motivations for participation Images of the audience Assessment of audience Strategic rationales contributions Source: Loosen/Schmidt 2012: 874
  6. 6. Audience inclusion in journalism Journalism Audience Inclusion Performance Inclusion PerformanceFeatures of audience participation Participatory practices Work processes/routines Inclusion Level Degree of community orientation Journalistic products/output Inclusion Expectations Inclusion Expectations Journalistic role perception Motivations for participation Images of the audience Inclusion Distance Assessment of audience Strategic rationales contributions Source: Loosen/Schmidt 2012: 874
  7. 7. Introducing the “Tagesschau”– On air since 1953; produced by “ARD Aktuell” (Public Service Broadcast)– Up to 23 newscasts a day– Most popular evening newscast in Germany (on avg. 10 Mio viewers; 33% market share)– 1996: website “tagesschau.de” starts
  8. 8. Participatory (online) features at the “Tagesschau”tagesschau.de
  9. 9. Participatory (online) features at the “Tagesschau”tagesschau.de Meta
  10. 10. Participatory (online) features at the “Tagesschau”tagesschau.de Meta Blog
  11. 11. Participatory (online) features at the “Tagesschau”tagesschau.de Meta Blog Facebook
  12. 12. Participatory (online) features at the “Tagesschau”tagesschau.de Meta Twitter Blog YouTube Facebook Google+
  13. 13. Case study “Tagesschau” In-depth interviews Standardized online survey Content AnalysesJournalists n=10 n=63 Participatory features of the Chief editors TV / Online out of 130 people in editorial website & Social Media 2x Managing Editor TV staff (TV und Online) accounts 2x Managing Editor Online 2x Social Media Editor Integration of audience & UGC 2x ‚Multi Media Assistant‘ in eight 8pm-newscast [Community manager] 350 comments on theAudience n=6 n=4.686 platforms Meta, Facebook and (varying degrees of engagement) Random sample of the Tagesschau-Blog tagesschau.de users (every 500th-visitor)
  14. 14. Findings (I):Journalistic functions and role conceptions
  15. 15. What journalists want to (and what they should) do Journalists Users ∆ What are your personal goals in your profession? / “Tagesschau” journalists should… (n=60-63) (n=4.570-4.636) (MJ-Mu) present my/their own opinion(s) to the audience/to the public 1.82 2.94 -1.12 get into conversation about current events 2.36 3.15 -0.79 provide people with opportunity to publish their own content 1.69 2.45 -0.76 concentrate on news that is interesting to an audience as wide as possible 3.64 2.89 0.75 give audience opportunity to express opinion on topics of public interest 2.55 3.16 -0.61 inform the audience as fast as possible 4.72 4.24 0.48 criticize problems and grievances 3.87 4.32 -0.45 control politics, business and society 2.90 3.28 -0.38 share positive ideals 2.69 3.05 -0.36 build/maintain relationship with audience 2.43 2.75 -0.32 encourage/moderate discussion among audience 2.69 3.00 -0.31 provide useful information for the audience and act as advisor / guidance 2.68 2.41 0.27 point to interesting topics and further information 3.97 4.24 -0.27 provide audience with opportunity to maintain ties among themselves 1.57 1.84 -0.27 explain and convey complex issues 4.85 4.68 0.17 give the audience topics to talk about 3.35 3.23 0.12 provide entertainment and relaxation 2.02 2.11 -0.09 inform as objectively and precisely as possible 4.77 4.80 -0.03 show new trends and highlight new ideas 3.39 3.38 0.015-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Do not agree at all” to 5 = ”Do agree completely”; 6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
  16. 16. What journalists want to (and what they should) do Journalists Users ∆ What are your personal goals in your profession? / “Tagesschau” journalists should… (n=60-63) (n=4.570-4.636) (MJ-Mu) present my/their own opinion(s) to the audience/to the public 1.82 2.94 -1.12 get into conversation about current events 2.36 3.15 -0.79 provide people with opportunity to publish their own content 1.69 2.45 -0.76 concentrate on news that is interesting to an audience as wide as possible 3.64 2.89 0.75 give audience opportunity to express opinion on topics of public interest 2.55 3.16 -0.61 inform the audience as fast as possible 4.72 4.24 0.48 criticize problems and grievances 3.87 4.32 -0.45 control politics, business and society 2.90 3.28 -0.38 share positive ideals 2.69 3.05 -0.36 build/maintain relationship with audience 2.43 2.75 -0.32 encourage/moderate discussion among audience 2.69 3.00 -0.31 provide useful information for the audience and act as advisor / guidance 2.68 2.41 0.27 point to interesting topics and further information 3.97 4.24 -0.27 provide audience with opportunity to maintain ties among themselves 1.57 1.84 -0.27 explain and convey complex issues 4.85 4.68 0.17 give the audience topics to talk about 3.35 3.23 0.12 provide entertainment and relaxation 2.02 2.11 -0.09 inform as objectively and precisely as possible 4.77 4.80 -0.03 show new trends and highlight new ideas 3.39 3.38 0.015-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Do not agree at all” to 5 = ”Do agree completely”; 6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
  17. 17. What journalists want to (and what they should) do Journalists Users ∆ What are your personal goals in your profession? / “Tagesschau” journalists should… (n=60-63) (n=4.570-4.636) (MJ-Mu) present my/their own opinion(s) to the audience/to the public 1.82 2.94 -1.12 get into conversation about current events 2.36 3.15 -0.79 provide people with opportunity to publish their own content 1.69 2.45 -0.76 concentrate on news that is interesting to an audience as wide as possible 3.64 2.89 0.75 give audience opportunity to express opinion on topics of public interest 2.55 3.16 -0.61 inform the audience as fast as possible 4.72 4.24 0.48 criticize problems and grievances 3.87 4.32 -0.45 control politics, business and society 2.90 3.28 -0.38 share positive ideals 2.69 3.05 -0.36 build/maintain relationship with audience 2.43 2.75 -0.32 encourage/moderate discussion among audience 2.69 3.00 -0.31 provide useful information for the audience and act as advisor / guidance 2.68 2.41 0.27 point to interesting topics and further information 3.97 4.24 -0.27 provide audience with opportunity to maintain ties among themselves 1.57 1.84 -0.27 explain and convey complex issues 4.85 4.68 0.17 give the audience topics to talk about 3.35 3.23 0.12 provide entertainment and relaxation 2.02 2.11 -0.09 inform as objectively and precisely as possible 4.77 4.80 -0.03 show new trends and highlight new ideas 3.39 3.38 0.015-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Do not agree at all” to 5 = ”Do agree completely”; 6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
  18. 18. What journalists want to (and what they should) do Journalists Users ∆ What are your personal goals in your profession? / “Tagesschau” journalists should… (n=60-63) (n=4.570-4.636) (MJ-Mu) present my/their own opinion(s) to the audience/to the public 1.82 2.94 -1.12 get into conversation about current events 2.36 3.15 -0.79 provide people with opportunity to publish their own content 1.69 2.45 -0.76 concentrate on news that is interesting to an audience as wide as possible 3.64 2.89 0.75 give audience opportunity to express opinion on topics of public interest 2.55 3.16 -0.61 inform the audience as fast as possible 4.72 4.24 0.48 criticize problems and grievances 3.87 4.32 -0.45 control politics, business and society 2.90 3.28 -0.38 share positive ideals 2.69 3.05 -0.36 build/maintain relationship with audience 2.43 2.75 -0.32 encourage/moderate discussion among audience 2.69 3.00 -0.31 provide useful information for the audience and act as advisor / guidance 2.68 2.41 0.27 point to interesting topics and further information 3.97 4.24 -0.27 provide audience with opportunity to maintain ties among themselves 1.57 1.84 -0.27 explain and convey complex issues 4.85 4.68 0.17 give the audience topics to talk about 3.35 3.23 0.12 provide entertainment and relaxation 2.02 2.11 -0.09 inform as objectively and precisely as possible 4.77 4.80 -0.03 show new trends and highlight new ideas 3.39 3.38 0.01 5-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Do not agree at all” to 5 = ”Do agree completely”; 6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)• Journalistic role conceptions and expectations of the users towards journalistic functions of the “Tagesschau” are, by and large, congruent
  19. 19. Findings (II):Participatory practices
  20. 20. Participatory features: use and frequency of use• 19 % of the respondents have sent letters, e-mails or faxes to the “Tagesschau” (mainly to criticize reporting or to correct errors), but very unregularly tagesschau.de Facebook Google+ All respondents Facebook users only Google+ users only (n= 4.543-4.686) (n=334; 7.2 % of all resp.) (n=184; 4 % of all resp.) Commenting news Meta: 26.0 % 34.4 % 15.2 % Blog: 4.7 % Rating news Meta: 12.9 % 50.0 % 17.9 % Recommending news Meta: 17.8 % 46.1 % 17.4 %• On average, participatory features are not used regularly, i.e. several times a month or less often; the respondents also prefer types of participation with a lower effort (such as “liking” or “sharing” articles)• But: 49.3 % of all respondents have never been active at all
  21. 21. Findings (III):Motivations for participation
  22. 22. User‘s motivations for participation• Rated by active users of Audience Mail (n=38), Meta (n=390), Blog (n=45) and Facebook (n=41); accordingly, the main reasons are: • “to propose a topic that is important to me” • “to state my opinion publicly” • “to expand my knowledge by interacting with journalists and other users” • “to leave the passive viewer’s role” • “to correct errors” (mainly Audience Mail) • “because it is fun” (mainly Facebook)• Motivations to participate slightly vary between the four channels, especially Audience Mail (as a non-public format) and Facebook (an external platform)• But: the three motivations with the lowest agreement are similar, i.e. the respondents consensually disagreed to participate • “out of boredom“ • “to build a relationship with the editors” • “to get to know interesting people and to make new contacts”
  23. 23. (Assumed) reasons for participation Journalists Meta Audience Mail Difference Motivation (n=63) (n=390) (n=38) (MWJ-MWu) vent anger/frustration, “blow off steam” 3.94 2.24 2.19 1.70 / 1.75 expanding knowledge 2.49 3.94 3.39 -1.45 / -0.90 self-expression and self-display 3.73 2.32 2.06 1.41 / 1.67 … leave the passive viewer’s role 3.60 3.75 3.51 -0.15 / 0.09 state opinions publicly 4.19 4.15 3.30 0.04 / 0.89 share knowledge and experiences 3.66 3.77 3.40 - 0.11 / 0.26 • Journalists agree more strongly to „self-centered“, affective motivations and underestimate the relevance of knowledge expansion • Both sides are congruent regarding the aspects of sharing knowledge and experiences with others as well as stating opinions publicly5-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”Disagree completely” to 5 = ”agree completely”; 6 = ”Don’t know / Can’t say” (excluded for calculation of mean)
  24. 24. Findings (IV):Reasons for not being active
  25. 25. Reasons for non-participation• almost half of the user sample (49.3 %) has never been activeTop 5 reasons (n=2.249) M SDbecause I don‘t want to register. 3.48 1.44because it is too time-consuming / too much effort. 3.09 1.36because it‘s no fun. 2.91 1.39because the quality of the discussion is too low. 2.81 1.35because the “Tagesschau” is not the right medium for audience participation 2.75 1.44 5-point-Likert-scale with 1 = ”disagree completely” to 5 = ”agree completely”• differences between the respondents refer to two influential variables Age Formal Education younger than 38: low discussion quality; prefer other No high school grad.: technical problems; legal channels for participation uncertainty; lack of courage 38 and older: technical problems; functions are too High school grad:. low discussion quality complicated; fear of not being taken seriously
  26. 26. Findings (V):Expectations towards participatory features
  27. 27. (Assumed) importance of participatory functions MJ MUHow important are the following aspects to your audience/to you? ∆ (MJ-Mu) (n=57-59) (n=4.641-4.667)to be able to interact and/or make contact with other viewers/users (and exchange opinions) 3.29 2.34 0.95To have editorial staff introduced to them/me 2.14 3.03 -0.89To be taken seriously by journalists 4.42 3.61 0.82To get additional information on sources of reporting 3.39 4.16 -0.77To publicly show their/my attachment to the Tagesschau 2.57 1.87 0.71To discuss the topics of news reporting 3.76 3.28 0.48To be able to contact/discuss with editorial staff directly 2.91 3.37 -0.46To make transparent which stories are viewed /commented by many other people 3.05 2.6 0.45To be able to comment/rate news reporting 3.83 3.4 0.43To be able to suggest topics for reporting 2.91 3.29 -0.38To be able to forward / recommend news 3.48 3.19 0.29To get information on editorial routines/practices 2.95 3.18 -0.23To have a platform for discussing practices and quality of news reporting 3.41 3.63 -0.22To be able to provide own material (text, pictures, videos) for news reporting 2.58 2.45 0.13To have editors be present and responsive (on social media) 3.62 3.52 0.10• Journalists overestimate the audience‘s desire for contact and exchange among each other, and to be taken seriously by the journalists• Journalists underestimate the audience‘s desire for transparency (actors, sources)
  28. 28. Conclusion• Our case study “Tagesschau” has shown that … • … with the introduction of new participatory features also new journalistic tasks and functions emerge • e.g. Social Media Editors and Multi Media Assistants as “filters” of audience material and feedback as well as community managers • … by and large, professional self image and assessment by the audience are congruent • dominating (self) image of the fast and neutral disseminator and explainer of news • some incongruencies regarding participatory aspects of the “Tagesschau” • … the active audience engages in participatory practices with lower effort and not very regularly • … motivations for user participation are viewed differently • aspect of “stating opinion publicly” is acknowledged by both • but notable incongruence: journalists assume “self-centered” and affective motivations for participation, while active audience highlights knowledge exchange • Non-active users and lurkers mainly do not want to register or spend time for participation, but: they also appreciate audience participation as entertaining and helpful in regard with knowledge expansion and opinion formation/reassurance
  29. 29. Conclusion• Audience‘s desire for transparency is underestimated by the journalists … • regarding journalistic routines, sources and additional information about issues • regarding actors: Who are the people behind the news? • regarding audience feedback: What happens with user contributions, comments etc. inside the editorial departments?• Audience participation fosters journalistic self reflection: • What degree of participation is consistent with the “Tagesschau” as a journalistic product/brand, and with its journalistic self-image? • Are contributions of the few active audience members representative for the whole audience of the “Tagesschau”?• “What is it good for?” • Higher visibility of the audience, (perceived) “smaller” distance between audience and journalists but still few direct and public forms of interaction with the users • Instead, new means of participation are seen as additional tasks and sometimes as a “problem” which has to be managed • Audience contributions are appreciated as an additional “source” (UGC), comments on errors in reporting are perceived as helpful. But: What else is it good for?
  30. 30. Thank you! Nele Heise & Julius Reimer Hans-Bredow-Institut Warburgstr. 8-10, 20354 Hamburg{n.heise;j.reimer}@hans-bredow-institut.de www.hans-bredow-institut.de jpub20.hans-bredow-institut.de @jpub20team
  31. 31. Bibliography• Bruns, A. (2005). Gatewatching. Collaborative Online News Production. New York: Peter Lang.• Bruns, A. (2008). Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and beyond. From production to produsage. New York: Peter Lang.• Lewis, S. C. (2012). The tension between professional control and open participation: Journalism and its boundaries. Information, Communication & Society, 15(6), 836–866.• Loosen, W., & Schmidt, J.-H. (2012). (Re-)Discovering the audience: The relationship between journalism and audience in networked digital media. Information, Communication & Society, 15(6), 867–887.• Robinson, S. (2010). Traditionalists vs. Convergers: Textual Privilege, Boundary Work, and the Journalist-Audience Relationship in the Commenting Policies of Online News Sites. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 16(1), 125–143.• Schmidt, J-H., Loosen, W., Heise, N., & Reimer, J. (2012). Journalism and participatory practices – Blurring or reinforcement of boundaries between journalism and audiences? . Pre-conference Paper, „Towards Neo-Journalism? Redefining, Extending or Reconfiguring a Profession”, 3./4. October 2012, Brussels

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