Social Media’s Credibility: A Step Towards Literacy?
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This project aimed to look at how social media could or could not give citizens the voice to change the content of news and also how it could or could not hurt a given news organization's credibility. I used two focus groups, various interview strategies (in-person, online, by phone) and transcription to gather results. I then analyzed the responses and found that news credibility and citizen voice are not as simple as they seem, and both journalists and non-journalists perceive the two as essential, yet complicated, news variants. They ultimately highlighted the need to use social media at various news organizations to salvage news credibility, at the same time as underlining the importance of enabling and disabling citizen comments. From my research, I found there are two elements that both journalists and non-journalists see as being directly related to news credibility and citizen voice: offensive comments and too much focus on one topic. These results will thus help journalists widen their focus on different topics, as well as reconsider different tactics to engage with their viewers or readers when trying to play with them, or set the agenda.