TrendingNow: Analyzing the Reportage of Viral Social Media Posts on Three Mainstream News Websites (2016-2018)

#TrendingNow: Analyzing the Reportage of Viral Social Media Posts on Three Mainstream News Websites (2016-2018)

Maglasang, K. M., & Salvador, P. C. (2019). #TrendingNow: Analyzing the reportage of viral social media posts on three mainstream news websites (2016–2018), Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

With the improved accessibility and continuous popularization of social media, virality has become a factor more commonly considered by mainstream media organizations in data gathering, especially for their online platforms. This study aims to describe and understand such a phenomenon as it problematizes the collection, assessment, and verification of viral social media posts before presenting them as news. It also aims to find out the perceptions traditional newsrooms have of user-generated content, given the proliferation of fake news and disinformation on social media. The study utilizes an integrated framework of Agenda Building Theory, Social Contagion Theory, and Gatewatching Theory. In order to accomplish its objectives, content analysis was conducted on news articles published on websites ABS-CBN News, GMA News Online, and CNN Philippines from 2016 to 2018. Analyzing their news values, visuals, source, and virality of the source revealed that the majority of the articles had embedded videos from Facebook that featured prominent personalities, human interest stories, and conflicts. Semi-structured interviews with their respective social media desks were conducted to determine their standards, responsibilities, and perceptions as gatewatchers to online information, especially to viral user-generated content on social media.

Key Words:

viral social media posts, news websites

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