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Twitter networks between reporters and politicians

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pilot study in social network analysis on twitter relations between reporters and politicians in Dutch parliament

pilot study in social network analysis on twitter relations between reporters and politicians in Dutch parliament


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  • 1. TWITTER SOCIAL NETWORKS BETWEEN POLITICIANS AND JOURNALISTS Peter Verweij School of Journalism Hogeschool Utrecht The Netherlands
  • 2. Journalists and Politicians
    • Journalist and Politicians live in Symbiosis: they are mutually dependent in process of exchange of information, news, political points of view
    • Twitter plays an important role in the political public debate, politicians, public and journalists
    • How does Twitter shapes this process of communication? What are the characteristics of the social network of Twitter relationships between politicians and journalists?
  • 3. Findings about Twitter networks
    • Most relationships declared within Twitter are meaningless from the point of interaction
    • Reciprocity is low; most tweets are just broad casted
    • The distance between twitters users in the network is short
    • Twitter is about news and information, not about social networking
  • 4. Hidden network in Twitter?
    • Who are using Twitter? And who are the major players in parties and media?
    • Do these players have a special position in the social network of twitter relations and what is the function of this position?
    • Is there an elite of journalists and politicians on Twitter which controls the process of communication?
  • 5. Research Design
    • Selected from Twitter 150 politicians(100) and journalists/ reporters and advisers/spin doctors(50); Oct 2010;
    • Creating a matrix of 150X150 politicians and journalists following each other;
    • Using NodeXL, template for Excel, to analyze the relationships in the matrix.
  • 6. This is how the total Twitter network looks like
  • 7. Distributions of Tweets
    • Journalists are sending more tweets than politicians
    • Women are sending more tweets than men
    • Greens and Liberals are sending more tweets than socialists and right wing populist
    • Journalists at audio-visual media slightly more than print
    • 150 persons have 5000 connections; diameter 4; average distance 1.6 and density 0.22 (low)
  • 8. Zooming in (1): news source
    • Incoming relations=In Degree=Popularity; important as a news source
    • In Degree political parties reflect the power distribution in the coalition
        • Christen dem and orthodox christ dem score high
        • All Soc score low
    • In Degree media: press scores higher than audio visual media
  • 9. Zooming in (2): news source
    • In Degree for persons
      • Leading source is a journalists working for commercial station: Wester
      • Followed by political leaders of Greens and Christ Dem: Halsema and Verhagen
      • Remarkable: high score for Wilders and one member of socialist party: Samsom
  • 10. Zooming in (3): news source
  • 11. Zooming in: news gathering
    • Out going relations=Out Degree=outbound orientation; news gatherer
    • News gatherers: reporters belonging to public broadcaster score high; print journalist score lower
    • Wilders does not have an Out Degree
    • Chris dem and liberals are active in news gathering
  • 12. Zooming in (1): Authority and Hubs
    • Google rank= central network positions; persons with authority and hub
    • Samsom socialist is the highest; followed by Greens(Halsema) and Public Broadcaster (Rietbergen)
  • 13. Zooming in (2): Authority and Hubs
  • 14. Clustering: Subgroups in the network
    • Clustering analysis showed 5 interesting group
    • Density increased to 0.30
    • The biggest group(51 members) consisting of socialist and greens, had also the highest number of reporters, majority from public broadcasting
    • One smaller cluster(18) is combination from right and left and connected to the leading source:
      • SP and PVV with Wester
  • 15. Zooming out(1): Conclusions
    • The Twitter network does not show an elite of journalists and politicians controlling the communication. Density is low, and persons have different positions. However the distances are short, making interaction easy and fast
    • Consociatianalism/pillarization play no role in Twitter relations
        • Except for close connection between orthodox chris dem and their broadcaster
        • Biggest subgroup consists of socialist party and reporters from public broadcaster: church for the left wing
  • 16. Zooming out(2): Conclusions
    • Twitter relations reflect the balance of power: attention goes to parties and persons in central positions at that moment
        • Twitter analyses is a snap shot; relations are dynamic and change
        • Twitter is used for news and information exchange
        • Twitter is also used for broadcasting and campaigning: Wilders/PVV
  • 17. Thank you very much!
    • [email_address]
    • www.d3-media.nl