Don’t feed the trolls? Emerging Journalism Practices for Fighting Anti-Semitism

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Caryn Coatney


This study applies the concepts of interpretive communities and conversational interactions to show how investigative journalists initiated a relatively new method of reporting and generated support among their colleagues for becoming anti-Nazi activists and troll hunters. It draws on a sample of journalistic reporting and related media items to examine investigative reporters’ self-reflexive acts and the responses of journalism communities in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States from 2015 to 2020. Investigative journalists initiated open conversations to show that they were enthusiastic activists in retweeting, confronting and quoting neo-Nazi trolling by interviewing the perpetrators. Other journalism communities signified they were pursuing activist-like agendas as they magnified this work through informal networks, social media and news commentaries. Journalists reconsidered their professional boundaries to allow for cooperative conversations about their experiences in a fresh effort to denounce hate speech and begin collective initiatives to enhance social cohesion in civil society.

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Articles (refereed)