Title: Twitter as a journalistic or (self - ) promotional tool for news rooms : Case studies from Flanders, the Netherlands, the UK and USA
Authors: De Cock, Rozane
Issue Date: Dec-2014
Conference: Hybridity and the News: Hybrid Forms of Journalism in the 21st Century location:Brussels (VUB) date:4-5 December 2014
Abstract: Twitter as a journalistic or (self-)promotional tool for news rooms
Case studies from Flanders, the Netherlands, the UK and USA

In a journalistic world in which competition is fierce, market shares are increasingly important for commercial and public broadcasting companies as well, while operating in a rapidly changing digital environment that demands constant alertness, social media in general and Twitter in particular can fulfill multiple roles within the communication process of news makers and their online news consumers. Next to using Twitter as 1) a news gathering tool in answer to the ‘what’s happening’ question (Bruns, 2008; Palser, 2009) and as reflected in the concept of ambient news (Hermida, 2010), Twitter operates as 2) a news diffusion tool (news channel, Bruns, 2012; Farhi, 2009), but the medium may simultaneously serve as a 3) promotional tool for a news channel, news brand, news program or its journalists as well (Emmett, 2008; Moylan, 2013; Standley, 2013). Seen from this perspective, the line between journalistic content and (self-)promotion becomes blurred. In combination with an attempt to interact more intensely with news users/consumers, specific call-to-actions are used in news tweets in order to turn the relationship into a reciprocal one instead of the pre-web 2.0 one-way communication direction. In our exploratory research on the journalistic and promotional use of Twitter, we studied 6 cases and analysed 1477 tweets from Flanders (content from the twitter accounts of VRT and VTM news and Reyers laat), UK (BBC), USA (Fox News) and the Netherlands (DWDD). Intercoder reliability was measured (alpha’s) for 10% of the material. Our results show that interactivity is quite low on all these accounts, the level of promotional content varies between 1/6th to 2/5th of the twitter content. Calls-to action, finally, are widely used (call for material, sharing, polling etc.).
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Institute for Media Studies

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