Shedding light on the dark social: The connective role of news and journalism in social media communities

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    Abstract

    Messaging apps and Facebook groups are increasingly significant in everyday life, shaping not only interpersonal communication but also how people orient themselves to public life. These “dark social media” are important spaces for “public connection,” a means for bridging people’s private worlds and everything beyond. This article analyzes how people perceive news on such platforms, focusing on the different roles it plays in key social networks that rely on dark social media for communication. Arguing that the use of these platforms is foremost a social practice, the study employs focus groups with local, work, and leisure-related communities to investigate questions of inclusiveness, engagement, relevance, and constructiveness associated with sharing and discussing news. We find the perceived value of news on dark social media hinges on the control and privacy it provides. Community type was less significant than communicative aims of the group for shaping the uptake of news and journalism.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4329-4345
    Number of pages17
    JournalNew media & society
    Volume20
    Issue number11
    Early online date3-May-2018
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov-2018

    Keywords

    • YOUNG CITIZENS
    • CONSUMPTION
    • POLITICS
    • RETHINKING
    • INTERNET
    • FACEBOOK
    • SPACES
    • SENSE

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