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Metacoverage taking the place of coverage: wikiLeaks as a source for the production of news in the digital age

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While recent studies have engaged critically with the publication of news on multiple platforms, and the competition to mainstream media from non-traditional online news platforms, scholars have devoted less attention to the changes brought about to the production of news by the host of online sources becoming available for journalism. This article investigates the way in which the availability and competition from digital sources place the production of news from war zones in transition. Theoretically, metacoverage is introduced as one prevailing strategy applied by mainstream news media, when following up on stories launched by non-traditional, online media actors. The empirical point of departure for this article is the coverage of WikiLeaks’ publication in 2010 of the gun camera video Collateral Murder in three US, three UK and three Danish newspapers, which focused on the changing conditions for news production.
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Keywords: WikiLeaks; convergence; digital media; metacoverage; production practices; war reporting

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Copenhagen

Publication date: 2012-05-15

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  • Northern Lights: Film and Media Studies Yearbook was first published in 2002 and places particular emphasis on film, television and new media. The yearbook, although carrying a theme each issue, welcomes a broad range of articles along with shorter review pieces.
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