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Prosumers in a digital multiverse: An investigation of how WeChat is affecting Chinese citizen journalism / Yan Wu; Matthew Wall

Global Media and China, Volume: 4, Issue: 1, Pages: 36 - 51

Swansea University Author: Wu, Yan

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Abstract

WeChat is China’s most popular multi-purpose messaging and social media application and has been gaining popularity globally since its first release in 2011. In this article, we examine how the use of WeChat is affecting digitally-enabled citizen journalism in China. To achieve that purpose, we gath...

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Published in: Global Media and China
ISSN: 2059-4364 2059-4372
Published: SAGE 2019
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa48811
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Abstract: WeChat is China’s most popular multi-purpose messaging and social media application and has been gaining popularity globally since its first release in 2011. In this article, we examine how the use of WeChat is affecting digitally-enabled citizen journalism in China. To achieve that purpose, we gathered data from 3 focus-group interviews with Chinese WeChat users. The findings suggest that WeChat’s integration of multiple communicative networks renders it a multiversal space where citizen journalistic practice can transverse across public, semi-public, and private spheres. The diverse communicative affordances of WeChat could facilitate ‘metavoicing’ practice as a form of citizen journalism, and enable news production and consumption to converge. Consequently, users’ experiences of news and news story lifecycles have been affected. WeChat offers both opportunities and challenges to the practice of citizen journalism: it is a space where information exchange could be constantly monitored, where the tone of current affairs coverage is often sensationalized, and where the reliability of content can be difficult to discern.
Keywords: WeChat, China, Citizen journalism, digital multiverse, metavoicing
College: College of Arts and Humanities
Issue: 1
Start Page: 36
End Page: 51