Social Media News: A Comparative Analysis of the Journalistic Uses of Twitter
University of Siena, Italy
ABSTRACT: The article investigates media organizations’ strategies to adapt to the new media ecology in which Twitter is renewing traditional news-production routines. Two main strategies are identified: a traditional approach aimed at one-way news dissemination, and a journalistic model that recasts the relationship with the audience and uses Twitter as a community-building tool. It has been assumed that media outlets’ endeavors to gain centrality in the information system are associated with their ability in using the appropriate communication tools of Twitter and the implementation of strategies based on interaction with users. Based on a comparative analysis of Twitter uses by newspapers in 31 countries, the study shows that the ability to manage the structural elements of the platform is widespread among media organizations. Concurrently, the relational strategy, i.e. the investment in community building, although less widespread, is present in many countries and leads to an increased level of user involvement.