Thank Google! Journalistic sources in an online world

Searching via Google

Journalists are increasingly finding their sources online. How does this affect their selection and verification of these sources? This research shows that journalists are largely led by what they find on Google.

Objective

There is huge concern about fake news and filter bubbles in the world today, making it even more important for journalists to verify the relevance and reliability of the sources they select. The question is how journalists do this online. Which strategies do they use to research their sources? Our research provides a better insight into how journalists select and verify online sources.

Results

Our research shows that this is largely determined by what journalists find on Google. Although they do not intentionally verify the accuracy of online sources, they do check the background of a website and cross-check sources. The source selection and verification processes are merging increasingly.

Duration

01 September 2017 - 01 January 2019

Approach

An observation study was conducted among 48 young journalists. We monitored them while they were doing research and also made screen shots of their online searches.

HU researchers involved in the research

  • Yael de Haan | Professor | Quality Journalism in Digital Transition
    Yael de Haan
    • Professor
    • Research groups: Quality Journalism in Digital Transition

Would you like to collaborate or do you have any questions?

Yael de Haan | Professor | Quality Journalism in Digital Transition

Yael de Haan

  • Professor
  • Research group: Quality Journalism in Digital Transition