Talking to the Broadcasters on Twitter: Networked Gatekeeping in Twitter Conversations with Journalists
journal contributionposted on 29.09.2015, 00:00 by W.W. Xu, M. Feng
Drawn upon the theory of networked gatekeeping, this study describes how citizens engage Twitter conversations with journalists and illustrates the power dynamic between traditional gatekeepers (journalists) and the gated (news audience). The power dynamic is discussed along four attributes of the gated – political power, information production ability, and relationship with gatekeepers and information alternatives. Results show that citizens interacted with gatekeepers by sharing information/opinion, social chats, and self-serving promotion of individual opinions and agenda. Politically active citizens interacted more often with journalists who share similar ideology. The citizens have varying degrees of political power, reflected by their different levels of involvement and influence in political discourse online. The implications for gatekeeping have been addressed too.