En kvantitativ innehållsanalys om medborgarjournalistikens kvalitet på Flashback

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Executive summary
As interactive media have grown, citizen journalism has gained greater importance. Almost half of Sweden’s population takes part in news delivery on social media, where the discussion forum Flashback is one of the platforms. This opens up for greater dissemination and
discussion of news between non-professionals which is classified as citizen journalism. With the importance of free speech and being exposed to unbiased and diverse news coverage to be an informed citizen, it is important to understand what one is consuming while taking part of news online that is not always provided by professional journalists.

User-generated content has been researched since web 2.0 technology emerged. A large part of the research focuses on social media, while citizen journalism on Swedish discussion forums is not as common.

This study aims to examine the quality of citizen journalism and its news reporting on Flashback through Urban and Schweiger’s (2014) quality dimensions of professional journalism. These quality criteria include, among others, the presence of rumors, speculation, and diversity of viewpoints. With a quantitative content analysis, we map the frequency of these criteria in three Flashback threads (n = 542 posts) with different topics, where they all start from a news story. The essay is based on two questions; What is the quality of flashback threads based on the approach to news quality? Does the quality differ depending on the
subject? To succeed in answering these questions, we carry out a frequency analyses and a Chi-square tests.

Furthermore, the selection of the threads has been done strategically to meet the demands of citizen journalism as well as the scope of posts that need to be adapted to the time frame we have. Following this, we used a codebook that was tested with K-alpha to determine as safely
as possible that the result would have been the same regardless of who carried out the analysis.

In conclusion, the result shows that the quality of Flashback is poor in terms of criteria used to measure professional journalism. We also see that the quality differs between the threads where some threads are good in one dimension while another is problematic and vice versa.
The thread about politics turns out to be of the best quality by a small margin.

Josefine Gerdtman, Emelie Gustafsson
MKV, Examensarbete , ht22
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