Journal of
Media and Communication Studies

  • Abbreviation: J. Media Commun. Stud.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2545
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMCS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 216

Article in Press

The Common Man and Social Media as Sources in Norwegian Newspapers


  •  Received: 16 October 2020
  •  Accepted: 01 December 2020
This is a quantitative content analysis of Norwegian news stories generated from social media posts by ordinary people. The analysis focuses on topics, sources, use of amateur photos, and news criteria. Social issues, culture, and politics were the largest categories. Sport, crime, and accidents were barely represented. The news stories were episodic in form, and replicated much of the content from the original social media post, together with an interview with the person who posted it. The majority of sources were men, but with a slightly higher female proportion compared to Norwegian news in general, and a wider age range. There was little journalistic processing, such as additional research, use of other sources, or follow-up stories. Most of the photos used were amateur photos, often taken from social media. Popularity cues on social media were often used to legitimize news value.

Keywords: social media virality, journalism, online news, amateur photos, user-generated content, ordinary people