Journalists' information seeking and behaviour on social media

Aghili, O 2018, Journalists' information seeking and behaviour on social media, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Science, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Journalists' information seeking and behaviour on social media
Author(s) Aghili, O
Year 2018
Abstract This thesis presents the findings of journalists' information seeking and behaviour on social media through exploiting grounded theory methodology. Based on interviews with twenty journalists along with a study of a set of university level journalism modules and observation of journalist students' activities,  journalists' information behaviours are determined followed by journalists' information seeking behaviour. Three main components of journalists' information seeking behaviour on social media are investigated; journalists' information need types, search strategies and tactics, and relevance judgement criteria. Moreover, examining journalists' search strategies and tactics on social media leads this study to investigate the taxonomy of question types asked by journalists on social media. Finally, the influential factors which have an impact on journalists' information seeking and behaviour and their social media uses are investigated.

The findings identify six motivations (purposes) of journalists' social media uses which lead to introducing the concepts of overt and covert information behaviours. In addition, the findings propose that seven types of information need lead journalists to use social media to satisfy their information needs that expand the types found in previous work. These findings imply that not only is social media used as an information source, but it can also be a supplier of stories found serendipitously. The findings of journalists' search strategies and tactics identify nine search strategies and tactics which lead to introducing the concepts of active, passive, overt, and covert search behaviours. The findings of the taxonomy of question types indicate that asking questions on social media platforms is not only used as a search tactic and strategy to satisfy journalists' information needs but also it is used as a strategy to communicate with the audience and verify information. When it comes to relevance judgement criteria, this research determines twenty six relevance judgement criteria classified into six categories. These findings imply that journalists' relevance judgement criteria are not only interrelated to journalists' information needs but also to journalists' search strategies and tactics on social media. Finally, the findings also suggest five categories of influential factors that affect journalists' information seeking and behaviour on social media. These findings indicate that to have a better understanding of journalists' information seeking and behaviour and also to satisfy journalists' information needs, the influential factors should be taken into consideration in real time.

The results not only enrich the information seeking and behaviour and journalism literature but also provide implications for designing and evaluating information retrieval systems, as well as for social media and journalism researches.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Science
Subjects Information Systems not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Information Retrieval
Information Seeking Behaviour
Information Behaviour
Social Media
Journalism
Information System
Interactive Information Retrieval
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Created: Wed, 03 Apr 2019, 10:58:00 EST by Adam Rivett
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