Spanish and Portuguese journalists on Twitter: best practices, interactions and most frequent behaviors

Montserrat Doval


Mediated communication has created new relationship conditions between media, journalists and audience. In an age where information is ubiquitous, in Twitter becomes more evident the ambiguity between mass, interpersonal, public and private communication; and this social network site is the choice for many journalists to engage with the audience. Through content analysis and monitoring of the activity of 20 journalists, 10 Spaniards and 10 Portuguese, most of them media managers, the research suggests that journalists are still learning how to use Twitter, and next to best practices it has also been found that there are unprofessional uses of the tool. After analyzing their behavior through 1470 tweets, it was found that some journalists leverage the capabilities of the medium; acting as agenda-setters and interacting with the audience while others use it simply as a loudspeaker, without audience or source interaction. What Portuguese journalists, with some exceptions, have in common is a scarcer use of the medium, but at the same time a higher rate of following others than the Spanish journalists do. Some journalists predominantly retweet messages that praise them and interact mostly with their colleagues of their own media which gives an endogamous shade to their behavior online.


Twitter; journalism

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