Candidate Tweet Usage by Journalists in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
AbstractThis paper sets out to determine the impact that Twitter has in political journalistic reporting of television broadcasts. It specifically focuses on the 2016 U.S. presidential election from Labor Day (September 4, 2016) to Election Day (November 8, 2016). Transcripts from the following major news agencies were pulled to extract Twitter mentions within the story: CBS, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, and NBC. Pulling from 900 transcripts, about 40% (350 transcripts) of the transcripts used tweets from candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as evidence in their stories. Of the transcripts that referenced tweets from the candidates directly, about 24% of them centered around Trump, whereas only 5% centered around Clinton. Not only did this research show that news agencies are comfortable incorporating Twitter as evidence for stories, but also that they are presenting tweets in an unfair fashion, favoring the tweets of one candidate (Trump) over the other (Clinton). The tweets that were used in stories about Trump specifically also placed Trump in a negative light, whereas the tweets about Clinton had a more positive nature. This study ultimately showed that when implementing Twitter into news stories, it took on more of an entertainment than political value.