When Citizens and Journalists Interact on Twitter: Expectations of journalists’ performance on social media and perceptions of media bias

Homero Gil de Zúñiga, Trevor Diehl, Alberto Ardèvol-Abreu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Twitter has become the leading social media platform for journalists to break news, build a following, and interact with the public. Social media offer journalists and citizens a communication space, where they can discuss issues, provide context for the news, and foster community values. This study examines how expectations about journalistic practices on social media influence audience engagement with journalists, and in turn, perceptions of editorial bias. Drawing on a two-wave panel survey from the United States, we first find that expectations about the practice of “good journalism” on social media predict engagement with journalists on Twitter. Second, these personal interactions lead to lower levels of perceived bias in the news media. Finally, expectations of journalists’ performance on social media are explored as a moderator of perceived editorial bias. This study adds to the growing literature analyzing the causes and outcomes of audience engagement with journalists on social media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-246
Number of pages20
JournalJournalism Studies
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 25 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

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