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‘@THEVIEWER: Analyzing the offline and online impact of a dedicated conversation manager in the newsroom of a public broadcaster

A Research Paper by Pieter Verdegem, published by New Media and Society

This study is built around the appointment of a dedicated “conversation manager” at the Flemish public broadcaster VRT. We focus on (1) the impact of the conversation manager on Twitter activity of the viewers and (2) the impact of the tweeting audience in the newsroom. Our framework combines journalistic as well as social media logics in Bourdieu’s field framework, for which we combine Twitter data and newsroom inquiry. The network analysis of Twitter activity shows the impact of the conversation manager, although his activities are primarily guided by traditional journalistic values. In turn, the tweeting audience impacts newsroom practices, predominantly as an indicator of audience appreciation. To conclude, social media data further complicate the definition and understanding of “the public.”


Read the full version of this paper by Evelien D’heer and Pieter Verdegem on New Media and Society >>

Photo by BBC Creative on Unsplash

Pieter Verdegem


Dr Pieter Verdegem is Reader in Technology and Society in the Westminster School of Media and Communication and member of CAMRI (the Communication and Media Research Institute).

His research investigates the political economy of media and communication and the impact of digital technologies on society.

He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and teaches core undergraduate and postgraduate modules every year.

Prior to joining the Westminster School of Media and Communication, he was Assistant Professor in New Media and ICT in the Department of Communication Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium (2012-2016) and Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Informatics and Media, Uppsala University, Sweden (2011-2012). He holds a PhD in Communication Sciences from Ghent University.


19 October 2016
Published By
New Media and Society
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CAMRI | '@THEVIEWER: Analyzing the offline and online impact of a dedicated conversation manager in the newsroom of a public broadcaster - CAMRI
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