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Changing Norms Concerning Verification

Towards a Relative Truth in Online News?
  • Gunnar NygrenEmail author
  • Andreas Widholm
Chapter

Abstract

Over the past decade, journalism has undergone dramatic changes as a result of digitalization and multi-platform news production. Online, news is no longer a static product, but a flow of liquid news packages under constant alteration. This chapter discusses how the digital news environment has influenced attitudes towards verification among journalists in Poland, Russia and Sweden. The analysis builds on a survey to 1500 journalists in these countries. Results show a strong support for verification in general, but the new liquid news environment has also created softer attitudes towards verification. Between 30–40 per cent of the journalists believe that the audience has lower demands on news published online. As many hold the view that verification of facts can be done during rather than before publication. The analysis also reveals important differences between organizational cultures and between countries. Broadcast journalists keep their old values of verification to a larger extent, and newspaper journalists seem to accept a higher amount of inaccuracy in online news. Journalists in Poland and Russia have softer attitudes towards verification than journalists in Sweden, reflecting a journalistic culture oriented towards opinions, in contrast to the Anglo-Saxon fact-oriented tradition that characterizes Swedish journalism.

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Södertörn UniversityHuddingeSweden
  2. 2.Department of Media Studies (IMS)Stockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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