Abstract: Focusing on recent political unrest in Hong Kong, this article examines how mobile chat applications (e.g., WhatsApp, WeChat, LINE, Facebook Messenger and others) have permeated journalism. In Hong Kong, mobile chat apps have served as tools for foreign correspondents to follow stories, identify sources, and verify facts; they have also helped reporting teams manage large flows of multimedia information in real-time. To understand the institutional, technological, and cultural factors at play, this article draws on 34 interviews the author conducted with journalists who use mobile chat apps in their reporting. Building on the concept of media logic, the article explores technology-involved social interactions and their impact on media work, while acknowledging the agency of users and audiences within a cultural context. It argues that mobile chat apps have become hosts for a logic of connectedness and insularity in media work, and this has led to new forms of co-production in journalism.
Keywords: chat apps; Hong Kong; journalism; media logic; mobile communication