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Kitsa Mariana

Peculiarities of using social networks as a source of information in online media


Social networks are a modern communication trend performing various functions in society. One of them is a source of information for the media. The article examines theoretical aspects of usage of social networks in Internet media, content analysis of Internet media materials that use information from social networks, highlights the topics of such materials, ways to use information from social networks, evidence and argumentation of information.

In order to achieve this goal, we conducted a study that consisted of several stages. The first is an analysis of theoretical basis. We have studied the research of the Ukrainian and foreign researchers on social networks and the possibilities of using them as a source of information in journalism. After that, a content analysis of materials of all-Ukrainian and regional Internet media was carried out for the presence of links to social networks, in particular text links, screens, photos or videos. Technologically, it looked like this: we introduced a search query for the phrases «social networks», «in the social network», «form social networks» in search engines, filtering the results in the news for April-May 2020. It produced almost 200 results (N = 197). The object of content analysis was information materials placed in the newsfeed, as well as publications placed in the top sections. Next, we analyzed the topic, the argumentation of the materials, the availability of additional comments, links to official sources, resources, and so on. We also singled out those materials whose content seemed questionable, contained emotional headlines, insufficient evidence, manipulation, and so on.

The conclusions state that despite the multi-vector use of information from social networks in the Internet media, journalists must adhere to journalistic standards, check the information so as not to spread misinformation.

Keywords: Internet media, social networks, information, source.

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