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Twitter and the News Media: The Reverse Agenda-Setting Function of New Media

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Heather manes

on 4 December 2012

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Transcript of Twitter and the News Media: The Reverse Agenda-Setting Function of New Media

THE NEWS. Before Twitter and Facebook, before Reddit and RSS feeds, before smart phones and before the internet... Maxwell McCombs
& Donald Shaw (1972) "The Agenda-Setting
Function of the Mass Media" "The mass media set the agenda for each political campaign, influencing the salience of attitudes toward political issues." INTERNET TWITTER: Microblogging service founded in 2006 Users post 140-character "tweets" that can include hashtags for specific conversation topics ELECTION 2012: #bigbird 10.3 million tweets in 90 minutes 350,000 tweets before night's end #legitimaterape #horsesandbayonets The New York Times
The Washington Post
Los Angeles Times
The Wall Street Journal Before:
the news
media set the
public
agenda Now:
the public can set
the news
media's
agenda REVERSE AGENDA-SETTING Or, when the public transfers issue salience to the news media. A fundamentally different construct than intermedia agenda-setting, or the transfer of salience between media organizations. TWITTER: An online public forum,
comprised of individuals with separate intentions, opinions, and for the most part act in their own self-interest. REPRESENTATIVE OF A PUBLIC FORUM BLOG: Though comprised of individuals, they act according to a collective interest, upheld by external standards, to produce an intentional agenda. REPRESENTATIVE OF A MEDIA ORGANIZATION METHODOLOGY: Three interviews conducted with different high-ranking employees of Los Angeles area newsrooms Interviews to be between 45-60 minutes, with a 15 minute follow up interview SAMPLE
QUESTIONS: How frequently do you find sources via Twitter news stories? How frequently do you refer Twitter's Trending Topics for news stories? Can you recall a specific day or story where Twitter was useful in the news production process? How does your organization interact with audiences over social media (if they do so)? RATIONALE: 1. Twitter & Agenda-Setting have never been studied together
2. Agenda-Setting theory needs to be re-contextualized according to new media environment
3. Twitter cannot be placed under "intermedia" agenda-setting according to how it is used by individuals and the media
4. Agendas and public opinion still exist in the new media era, so researchers should continue to investigate how they interact
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