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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 16 January 2020

Tobias Eberwein

The idea that user comments on journalistic articles would help to increase the quality of the media has long been greeted with enthusiasm. By now, however, these high…

2299

Abstract

Purpose

The idea that user comments on journalistic articles would help to increase the quality of the media has long been greeted with enthusiasm. By now, however, these high hopes have mostly evaporated. Practical experience has shown that user participation does not automatically lead to better journalism but may also result in hate speech and systematic trolling – thus having a dysfunctional impact on journalistic actors. Although empirical journalism research has made it possible to describe various kinds of disruptive follow-up communication on journalistic platforms, it has not yet succeeded in explaining what exactly drives certain users to indulge in flaming and trolling. This paper intends to fill this gap.

Design/methodology/approach

It does so on the basis of problem-centered interviews with media users who regularly publish negative comments on news websites.

Findings

The evaluation allows for a nuanced view on current phenomena of dysfunctional follow-up communication on journalistic news sites. It shows that the typical “troll” does not exist. Instead, it seems to be more appropriate to differentiate disruptive commenters according to their varying backgrounds and motives. Quite often, the interviewed users display a distinct political (or other) devotion to a certain cause that rather makes them appear as “warriors of faith.” However, they are united in their dissatisfaction with the quality of the (mass) media, which they attack critically and often with a harsh tone.

Originality/value

The study reflects these differences by developing a typology of dysfunctional online commenters. By helping to understand their aims and intentions, it contributes to the development of sustainable strategies for stimulating constructive user participation in a post-truth age.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 23 May 2019

Franzisca Weder, Sabine Einwiller and Tobias Eberwein

This editorial is an introduction to the special issue on CSR communication related to the 4th CSR Communication Conference, held in Vienna (Austria) in September 2017…

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Abstract

Purpose

This editorial is an introduction to the special issue on CSR communication related to the 4th CSR Communication Conference, held in Vienna (Austria) in September 2017. The purpose of this paper is to critically reflect on the state-of-the-art in academic research on CSR communication concepts, strategies and future scenarios.

Design/methodology/approach

The editorial critically evaluates existing academic research dealing with CSR communication in the digital age. More precisely, it analyses established theories and concepts of CSR communication in terms of their fit to meet future challenges.

Findings

It can be noted that CSR communication practice is heading for new shores. Economic pressure, legal and political requirements, reputation risks in a digital media ecology and a new civic-minded and well-being-oriented generation of employees require a reorientation of CSR communication from information to impact orientation. Thus, the authors complement the approach of communication about CSR with the concept of communicative responsibility as a normative framework for corporate communication in the future.

Originality/value

The analyzed literature as well as the papers of the CSR Communication Conference indicate that the authors are heading toward a future of impact- instead of information-oriented communication. Here, communicative responsibility comes in as a fourth dimension of corporate responsibility, offering a normative framework for strategic, impact-oriented sustainability communication, integrated reporting and internal CSR.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

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