City Research Online

The distinctive nature of making news online: A study of news production at and

Van Dam, Brooke (2010). The distinctive nature of making news online: A study of news production at and (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


This thesis provides an inside, in-depth look at how journalists at and came together to create content for their websites over a six month period. It vividly unveils the process of newsmaking by journalists working for organisations whose output is the world wide web. It uses mixed method case studies of two US-based news websites, and, to show how both parentage and net native sites construct a news story. The case studies include direct observation, in-depth interviews and content analysis to deconstruct the process of covering the 2008 Presidential election. The thesis works around Brian McNair‘s cultural chaos paradigm (2006) which explains the emergent nature of news online and the lack of control by any environmental factors that seek to affect its outcome.

The thesis begins by outlining the four crucial changes which occur online that are redefining major tenets of journalism both practically and theoretically. It goes on to explain not only how online news has become a destination for many around the world but also why these two online news websites have found a niche for themselves on the Web.

The findings of this research outline not only how the newsmaking process exists in these two environments but also how they are creating a new type of convotelling journalism. The 2008 US Presidential election is used as a story to show the unstructured and chaotic network that now exists in how news is gathered, produced, and disseminated online. It goes on to explain the multitude of changing relationships journalists are grappling with as this convotelling newsmaking process occurs. The contrast between the net native and parentage website is dissected to show just how the two sites vary even though their goal is similar. The research concludes making an argument for a hybrid model of journalism being done online that is distinctive in nature.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: © 2010 Brooke Van Dam
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
School of Policy & Global Affairs > School of Policy & Global Affairs Doctoral Theses
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