Social media research featured at ICA 2014

ICA 2014 logoI’ll be presenting some of my research into social media at the annual conference of the International Communications Association.

On Friday May 23 my UBC colleague Candis Callison and myself re taking part in a panel discussion at the ICA annual conference in Seattle on the theme of Big Data.

The panel, titled Methodological Advances in Digital Content Analysis: Inductive and Deductive Approaches to ‘Big Data’ Research in Journalism Studies, is on from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. at room Willow A in the Seattle Sheraton.

Our presentation, Hashtag Dissent, will address the challenges of extracting meaning from more than 740,000 tweets using the #Idlenomore hashtag collected over December 2012 and January 2013 during which Idle No More rose to prominence in Canada.

The presentation will delve into the benefits and limitations of using a commercial social media analytics tool with proprietary algorithms for data collection and analysis.

The following day, on Saturday May 24, Frauke Zeller of Ryerson University and myself will present our research into the attitudes of digital Canadian journalists to social media. Our session is on from 9.00 to 10.15 a.m. at room Willow A in the Seattle Sheraton.

The paper is based on expert interviews with nine leading senior online news managers and journalists from Canada’s leading news organizations, with a focus on the growing influence of social media, and the professionals’ subjective, experience-based understandings of the current changes in journalism.

The interviewees demonstrated a tacit understanding of a shift away from the traditional role of gatekeeper towards a shared ecosystem of news and information.

While journalism was conceived as more of a collaborative enterprise, with interviewees seeking to adapt and benefit from a more participatory media environment, the journalists also expressed the occupational boundaries of the profession as a way of rearticulating their authority.

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