Since the news media environment went digital, outlets now have the ability to update online content continuously, removing and editing information without any oversight. This breaks the information flow process: news stories no longer represent “a snapshot in time” but instead living, “mutating” organisms. It also enables the creation and spread of misinformation. The type of changes being made are not yet known or widely researched. To better understand this issue, I conducted a textual analysis of 100 diffengine images, as well as thirteen in-depth case studies on the NewsDiffs website, focusing on content changes at the New York Times website. Through my analysis, I have found three overarching themes: “developing story”, “change in tone”, and “correcting inaccuracy”.
By identifying these themes, I hope to shed light on this vital, yet largely unknown complication in the process of information dissemination within the greater media network.Read More