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Br(e)aking the News

Journalism, Politics and New Media

Janey Gordon, Paul Rowinski and Gavin Stewart

What is the breaking news in the world today? How did you find out this news? How do you know it is true? Was it reported ethically? What checks and balances are being put on the news media?
The answers to these questions reflect the themes of this book. The chapters are by experienced journalists, academics and practitioners in the field. They unravel and clearly present the recent and on-going developments in journalism and the press around the globe, including the US, Europe, Asia and Africa. Chapters deal with the phone hacking and data thefts in the UK that provoked a major inquiry into press ethics and standards. Twitter is examined and found to be a valuable tool for reporters in the Arab world and research shows how, in Australia, readers use Twitter to pass along news topics. Chapters also explore the use of the mobile phone to access news in sub-Saharan Nigeria, the role of media magnates in presenting political views in Europe, and Wikipedia’s representation of conflict. This collection of fourteen chapters by leading authors examines journalism as practised today and what we might expect from it in the future.

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HALL, FARRINGTON AND PRICE Twitter, Disintermediation and the Changing Role of the Sports Journal

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LEE HALL, NEIL FARRINGTON AND JOHN PRICE Twitter, Disintermediation and the Changing Role of the Sports Journalist This chapter considers the impact of social media platform Twitter on the roles of sports journalists and their relationships with key sources and audiences. It will focus on two core aims. Firstly whether the phenomenon of sports clubs and players using Twitter to address audiences directly amounts to ‘disintermediation’, which in this context refers to the removal of a mediator or journalist in the dissemination of information. Secondly the chapter probes the question of how Twitter is changing the working practices of professionals covering sport. The ubiquity of smartphones and social media accounts means that information is now proliferated in the time it takes for a 140-character mes- sage to be tweeted. News that was traditionally the preserve of professional reporters, thanks to their access to sources and the lack of opportunities for amateurs to self-publish, is now broadcast around the world in minutes. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the rise and rise of social media is posing challenges, as well as providing opportunities, for journalists (Ahmad 2010; Hermida 2010; Hutchins & Rowe 2012; Posetti 2011). It is clear some sports stars see Twitter as a means to bypass the press. The English professional footballer Joey Barton (@Joey7Barton), for instance, has repeatedly used the platform to criticise individual journalists and the role of the press to his audience of 1.8m followers. But the question of whether this amounts to disintermediation requires closer examination....

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