The stories never printed

by Moa Matsdotter Candil

Institution: Stockholm University
Year: 2015
Keywords: Web journalism; alternative media; citizen media; Internet studies; Paraguay; Humanities; Humaniora
Record ID: 1368640
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113094


Internet and new communication technologies have drastically changed the way we send and receive messages, changing also the professions engaged in the gathering and diffusion of information. The Internet is by many presumed to have had a democratising effect on journalism, as it can be used to spread counter-hegemonic information and dismantle false objectivity (Castells, 2009, Rodriguez 2012). In this thesis, I examine this assumption by targeting one example of alternative journalism practice online. Through a case study of Paraguayan independent news site E’a, the thesis investigates how digital media affects newsroom structures and organisation as well as the role and objectives of the journalists. Previous theories and research on old and new alternative media, offered by scholars such as Susan Forde, Chris Atton, Leah A. Lievrouw, Olga Guedes Bailey, Bart Cammaerts and Nico Carpentier, are set against the voices of the practitioners producing E’a in this qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews. The thesis comes to the conclusion, that the Internet brings both benefits and drawbacks in the case of E’a. As a cheap way of publishing news, the digital platform serves as a lifebuoy for a project with a very limited commercial base. But the low Internet access in the country (and therefore presumed low impact of the project) and the change in organizational structure (web journalism resulting in a less collaborative form of working) leave the majority of the practitioners with network pessimism and a growing desire offline. Potential future research could look closer at alternative newscontent online, how it is perceived by the readers, as well as group dynamics and gendered participation in the digital era.