Title: Faceless Blogging and Gatewatching on Social Media: A Study of Selected Ghanaian Blog Pages on Instagram
Stream: Media Arts Practices: Television, Multimedia, Digital, Online and Other New Media
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Elizabeth Owusu Asiamah, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana
The advent of the internet and social media has brought about a change in news production and dissemination. There has been the emergence second-order journalism practiced by bloggers and citizen journalists as a result of the participatory nature of social media which has further changed the traditional news ecology practiced by professional journalists. This paper investigates the emergent phenomenon of faceless blogging by some Ghanaians on Instagram. Using the concept of gatewatching through a case study approach and anchored on a qualitative content analysis of Instagram posts, this paper examines the forms that posts shared on two (2) purposively selected anonymous blog pages on Instagram take. The paper further identifies the sources of news shared on the selected anonymous blog pages as well as what makes news on the pages. The findings reveal that posts shared on these pages are predominantly videos or images accompanied with captions written either in English language only or English and Twi (widely spoken Ghanaian language). Contrary to the traditional media which is keen on revealing sources of news to audience members in order to attach credibility to news stories, the findings further revealed that most stories shared on these pages had no sources attributed hence becomes difficult to confirm their credibility. Finally, similar to the traditional news values, stories about local and international celebrities, advertisers, and social media influencers are shared on the two pages. Other random humorous/human interest stories and personal contents of the faceless bloggers are also shared on the pages.
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