A Discourse Community of Livebloggers?

Authors Sebastiaan van der Lubben, Yael de Haan, Jaap de Jong, Willem Koetsenruijter
Published in Digital Journalism
Publication date 2023
Research groups Quality Journalism in Digital Transition
Type Article


Liveblogs are very popular with the public and journalists alike. The problem, though, is their credibility, given the uncertainty of the covered events and the immediacy of their production. Little is known about how journalists routinize the unexpected—to paraphrase Tuchman—when journalists report about an event that is still unfolding. This paper is about makers of liveblogs, livebloggers, so to speak, and the routines and conventions they follow. To better understand the relationship between those who do the “liveblogging” and how the “liveblogging” is done, we interviewed a selection of nine experienced livebloggers who cover breaking news, sports, and politics for the three most-visited news platforms in the Netherlands. Based on our results, we concluded that journalists working at different platforms follow similar routines and conventions for claiming, acquiring, and justifying knowledge. Journalists covering news in liveblogs must have expert knowledge, as well as technical and organizational skills. Liveblogging—in contrast to regular, online reporting—is best summarized as a social process instead of an autonomous production. These findings are important for three reasons: first, to understand how journalists cope with uncertainty covering events under immediate circumstances using liveblogs; second, to understand the workings of this popular format; and third, to contribute to literature about journalistic genres, discourse communities and, more specifically, generic requirements of liveblogs for effects of credibility to take place.

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On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in Digital Journalism
Key words liveblogs, credibility, discours community, semi-structured interviews
Digital Object Identifier 10.1080/21670811.2023.2244986

Sebastiaan van der Lubben

Sebastiaan van der Lubben

Sebastiaan van der Lubben

  • Researcher
  • Research group: Quality Journalism in Digital Transition