How Twitter impacts political journalism

Live tweets change political journalism

By Kim North

There is no denying that social media affecting political journalism says Chris Cillizza. The degree to which it is doing so is still unknown. We can only speculate that “the changes, which are still in process, are profound — in the way that politicians interact (or don’t) with reporters, the life cycle of news cycles and how the general public gets (or doesn’t) its information,” according to Chris Cillizza in an article titled “How Twitter has changed politics-and political journalism” from the Washington Post.

Using Twitter to express personal opinions and decide the overall outcome of the debate is common. Using Twitter to express favorable opinions and decide on the outcome of a debate will help reporters decide what to write about, possibly making them biased says Cilliza.

Another connection to using social media platforms like Twitter and journalism is that it allows the “…public to create their own frames regarding political events and not simply rely on the frames created by media organizations,” according to an article and study called “Live-Tweeting a Presidential Primary Debate: Exploring New Political Conversations” published in the Social Science Computer Review written by Joshua Hawthorne, J. Brian Houston and Mitchell S. McKinney.

Satirical political button emphasizing how Twitter can impact politics

Satirical political button emphasizing how Twitter can impact politics

If you hold the belief that journalism can be biased and frame an election then you are likely to believe that using Twitter and finding different views is a positive thing.

However, if you believe that the media is unbiased and simply presents the facts then you most likely hold the opinion that Twitter is just an outlet for people to use to present their strong beliefs. The beliefs that come from a persons socialization process and reinforce groupthink. That then is a threat to traditional journalism because it will result in journalism based on what is said on Twitter.

With the 2016 presidential elections coming soon, Twitter is already buzzing with opinions. How much of an impact twitter will have on journalism during the upcoming campaign cycle remains to be seen.

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This entry was posted in Journalism, Political Media, Social Media and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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