“News consumption is not just something we do, it is something we do in a particular place” News media on Facebook and its impact on young users

by Alina Gritckova

Institution: Uppsala University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Social Media; Facebook; news consumption; news producers; audience studies; youth; space; worthwhileness; Social Sciences; Media and Communications; Media Studies; Samhällsvetenskap; Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap; Medievetenskap; Masterprogram i samhällsvetenskap; Master Programme in Social Sciences; Digital Media; Digitala medier
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2067971
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-303971


The study aims to contribute to the deeper understanding of young Facebook users’ news consumption routines within the platform and to find out how they experience the growing presence of news publishers there. The research is based on 10 semi­structured interviews with international students ­ Swedish Institute scholarship holders from seven different countries. The qualitative data is analysed with the help of the theoretical approach, based on the combination of two modern concepts, that consider user perspective on news consumption: the concept of “perceived worthwhileness” by Kim Christian Schroeder and “spatial turn” by Chris Peters. The research has shown that young users often use Facebook as their primary source of news and, therefore, adopt new routines on this social platform in terms of news consumption. Among them are scanning through personal news feeds, monitoring friends interests, using “likes” for information dissemination and self­expression, chain reading news and “playing” with algorithms. At the same time, the communicational component of Facebook is not ignored and the platform as a whole is experienced rather as a space than a specific medium. In general, young users experience news consumption on Facebook in a positive way and appreciate the opportunity to see their peers’ perspectives on particular issues, show their identity to significant others, be exposed to a diverse range of news without wasting time on searching and choosing, and keep track of their activities and interests. At the same time, the author identified a negative attitude towards the chaotic structure of news feeds and the complexity of the settings.