Reddit news fandoms as digital news literacies: structuring the evaluation of information sources in a challenging information ecosystem
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Journalism is in crisis. There is consensus that this crisis is driven by four principal factors -- the overcrowded media sphere, the failing funding model of news, declining trust in media, and growing partisanship among news audiences -- yet there is little agreement about how to correct the course, but journalism's relationship to its audience is at the heart of the solution (Nelson, 2021). Digital environments, such as social media site Reddit, offer a unique opportunity to explore the relationship between journalism and its audience as these environments also complicate that relationship. Reddit offers a visible look at the discursive labor of journalists and their audience as they apply their news literacies to work for journalism as critics, boundary makers, and fans. This discourse analysis explores the meaning making work of journalists and news audiences engaging in Ask Me Anything (A.M.A.) discussions on Reddit's World News board. Findings indicate that the hyperliterate news fans on World News generate surprisingly traditional boundaries around journalism that rely heavily on normative expectations of journalism. This study complicates notions of how cultural capital is gained and expressed online and furthers knowledge and understanding of news fandoms and news literacies in action.