The Technologization of News Acts in Networked News Participation: LGBT Self-Media in China

Yidong Wang, Valerie Belair-Gagnon, Avery E. Holton


The technologization of news acts refers to the applications of technologies in journalism and the functional and infrastructural roles technological actors, such as Web designers and coders, may play in these applications. This conceptual article explores how technology facilitates news acts as forms of civic participation, particularly through citizen-oriented journalistic practices. Recognizing emerging scholarship examining news participation, this article argues for situating journalism within the networked news ecology. Drawing on an example—self-media production by LGBT communities in Mainland China—we explore a framework (1) conceptualizing peripheral actors’ roles in journalism, (2) theorizing power dynamics driving the broader news ecology, and (3) accounting for political-economic and sociocultural contexts specific to localities. This article argues that the technologization of news acts presents a networked power structure within which peripheral actors are situated and of which they negotiate. Technological infrastructures are thus a pivot to connect contextual factors with networked news participation and reveal the dialectical power relations warranting an information elite in the news ecology.


civic participation, LGBT activism, network technology, news acts, peripheral journalism

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