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Line Hassall Thomsen

Journalism by emoji’s: SoMe editors in the newsroom

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Recently, major news organizations have hired social media editors to ensure the constant flow of stories on the organizations social media pages. Research have argued that the introduction of social media has affected general news values for instance by instituting “shareability” as a professional norm (Harcup & O’Neill 2016). Other studies focus on the algorithms of social media (Bucher 2016). But very little research has been conducted inside newsrooms. Who are the SoMe editors, what are their daily routines, what stories are chosen - and do they consider their work journalism? This study is based on observations and interviews inside the newsroom of a national TV news organization. Using Danish broadcaster TV 2 as a case, the study analyses the professional profiles, organizational news values and individual self-perceptions of SoMe editors. The findings show a rather homogeneous group of SoMe editors, all in their 20’s and recent journalism school graduates. The job of SoMe editors is to select stories from the online newsdesk, write a tagline, choose emojis and publish links on social media platforms. ‘Sharability’ and ‘traffic’ seems to be the dominant news values and informal rules of practice includes hierarchies of emojis and informal norms for how many emojis to put on a link. Most SoMe editors consider their work to be journalism and find their professional training crucial for the job. The study concludes with a discussion of whether a new form of journalism is appearing; a journalism practice best described as “journalism by emoji’s”. References: Bucher, Taina (2016): The algorithmic imaginary: exploring the ordinary affects of Facebook algorithms in ' Information, Communication & Society, Volume 20, 2017 - issue 1: The Social Power of Algorithms. Taylor & Francis Online
Original languageDanish
Publication year2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventFuture of Journalism: Innovations, Transitions and Transformations - Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Sep 201913 Sep 2019
Conference number: 5


ConferenceFuture of Journalism
LocationCardiff University
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

    Research areas

  • Journalism, Social Media, Emojier, tegn, piktogrammer, elektroniske medier, Newsroom studies

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