A1 Journal article (refereed)
If Only They Knew : Audience Expectations and Actual Sourcing Practices in Online Journalism (2020)

Manninen, V. (2020). If Only They Knew : Audience Expectations and Actual Sourcing Practices in Online Journalism. Journalism Practice, 14 (4), 412-428. doi:10.1080/17512786.2019.1625719

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Manninen, Ville

Journal or series: Journalism Practice

ISSN: 1751-2786

eISSN: 1751-2794

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 14

Issue number: 4

Pages range: 412-428

Publisher: Routledge

Place of Publication: Abingdon

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/17512786.2019.1625719

Open Access: Publication channel is not openly available

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/68904


This article answers the question “Are the sourcing practices in Finnish online journalism trustworthy?” Here, trustworthiness is operationalized as the fulfillment of audience expectations towards sourcing practices. To this end, expectations of young Finnish adults (aged 18–28) were compared to the observed practices of Finnish online journalists. A total of 36 news items (from 12 journalists working in three newsrooms, published in 2013 and 2017) were analyzed. The analysis indicates that online journalists’ sourcing practices largely do not conform to this audience segment's expectations. Namely, the audience expects more comprehensive investigation and thorough verification than what is common practice in online journalism. The use of high-credibility sources is both expected and commonplace. The results imply that transparency may be harmful rather than beneficial to journalism's credibility, as the unveiled practices do not always meet audience expectations.

Keywords: online journalism; trust; reliability (general); transparency; verification

Free keywords: sourcing; trustworthiness

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

Preliminary JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2020-18-10 at 21:45