This study examines how mainstream journalists who microblog negotiate their
professional norms and practices in a new media format that directly challenges them.
Through a content analysis of more than 22,000 of their tweets (postings) on the
microblog platform Twitter, this study reveals that the journalists more freely express
opinions, a common microblogging practice but one which contests the journalistic norm
of objectivity (impartiality and nonpartisanship). To a lesser extent, the journalists also
adopted two other norm-related microblogging features: providing accountability and
transparency regarding how they conduct their work and sharing user-generated content
with their followers. The journalists working for national newspapers, national television
news divisions, and cable news networks were less inclined in their tweets than their
counterparts working for less “elite” news outlets to relinquish their gatekeeping role by
sharing their stage with other news gatherers and commentators, or to provide
accountability and transparency by providing information about their jobs, engaging in
discussions with other tweeters, writing about their personal lives, or linking to external
Lasorsa, Dominic L.; Lewis, Seth C.; Holton, Avery E..
Normalizing Twitter: Journalism Practice in an Emerging Communication Space.
Taylor and Francis.
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