‘Viral journalism’, is it a thing? Adapting quality reporting to shifting social media algorithms and wavering audiences

Denisova, A. 2021. ‘Viral journalism’, is it a thing? Adapting quality reporting to shifting social media algorithms and wavering audiences. in: Morrison, J., Birks, J. and Berry, M. (ed.) The Routledge Companion to Political Journalism Oxford Routledge. pp. 271-278

Chapter title‘Viral journalism’, is it a thing? Adapting quality reporting to shifting social media algorithms and wavering audiences
AuthorsDenisova, A.
EditorsMorrison, J., Birks, J. and Berry, M.
Abstract

This chapter examines the ‘viral’ practices of the leading media companies in the UK as they adapt to and adapt from the social media environment. News, political coverage, investigations, socially significant content - professional media are delivering their stories in a range of packages aimed at high engagement and sharing. These include interactive graphs, gifs, looped videos, cartoons and quote cards, among others.

A definition of ‘viral journalism’ is provided, with an in-depth overview of academic debates on ‘virality’. The discussion on the relation of viral storytelling to power furthers the connection of viral cultures to journalism. This emerging phenomenon is placed within the social media ecosystem and attention economy. The chapter relies on theoretical concepts from media and sociological studies as well as interdisciplinary scholarship. Case studies of recent UK viral media episodes are utilized to elucidate the tactics of viral journalism, its benefits and shortcomings.

Keywordsviral media
audience engagement
digital journalism
social media
algorithmic bias
clickbait
Book titleThe Routledge Companion to Political Journalism
Page range271-278
Year2021
PublisherRoutledge
Publication dates
Published20 Oct 2021
Place of publicationOxford
ISBN9780367248222
9780429284571
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429284571-25
File
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Web address (URL)https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9780429284571-25/viral-journalism-thing-adapting-quality-reporting-shifting-social-media-algorithms-wavering-audiences-anastasia-denisova

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