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SAINT LOUIS
UNIVERSITY
#FERGUSON STRATEGIC MESSAGING
HOW LOCAL JOURNALISTS AND ACTIVISTS
USED TWITTER AS A COMMUNICATION T...
SAINT LOUIS
UNIVERSITY
#Ferguson strategic messaging
Would using Twitter in a time of crisis
alter journalists’ norms and ...
SAINT LOUIS
UNIVERSITY
Local journalists
Job roles
• Objectivity
• Autonomy
• Immediacy
• Analysis
• Watchdogs
Journalists...
SAINT LOUIS
UNIVERSITY
Local activists
Communication tactics
• Informational (facts)
• Symbolic (protests)
• Organizing (f...
SAINT LOUIS
UNIVERSITY
Message frames
Criticism/support
• Police
• Protestors/activists
• City
• Society
• Media
Additiona...
SAINT LOUIS
UNIVERSITY
General Twitter practices
No differences
• Original tweets v. retweets
• Use of hashtags
• Favorite...
SAINT LOUIS
UNIVERSITY
Message strategies
Journalists Activists
Informational 78.3% 50%
Emotional 12.4% 43.1%
Symbolic 1.2...
SAINT LOUIS
UNIVERSITY
Message frames
Journalists Activists
Factual info 63.8% 30%
Conversations 20.6% 11.2%
Opinion 8.4% ...
SAINT LOUIS
UNIVERSITY
Takeaways
• Journalists & activists used
message strategies &
frames in ways consistent
with establ...
SAINT LOUIS
UNIVERSITY
Further research
• Retweet & favorite patterns of Ferguson tweets
• Journalists & activists: Inform...
SAINT LOUIS
UNIVERSITY
Questions
@amberhinsley
ahinsley@slu.edu
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  1. 1. SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY #FERGUSON STRATEGIC MESSAGING HOW LOCAL JOURNALISTS AND ACTIVISTS USED TWITTER AS A COMMUNICATION TOOL Amber Hinsley, Ph.D. Hyunmin Lee, Ph.D. http://blogs.wsj.com/dispatch/2014/08/18/how-ferguson-has-unfolded-on-twitter/
  2. 2. SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY #Ferguson strategic messaging Would using Twitter in a time of crisis alter journalists’ norms and practices and affect the approach used by activists?
  3. 3. SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY Local journalists Job roles • Objectivity • Autonomy • Immediacy • Analysis • Watchdogs Journalists on Twitter • Share info & breaking news • Engage in conversations • Express opinions
  4. 4. SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY Local activists Communication tactics • Informational (facts) • Symbolic (protests) • Organizing (face-to-face) • Litigious (petitions, lawsuits) • Civil disobedience (trespass, illegal) • Emotional (appeals, evocative) • Dialogic (conversations)
  5. 5. SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY Message frames Criticism/support • Police • Protestors/activists • City • Society • Media Additional • Call to action • Conversation • Neutral/factual info
  6. 6. SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY General Twitter practices No differences • Original tweets v. retweets • Use of hashtags • Favorites & retweets Frequent hashtags • #Ferguson • #MikeBrown • #STL • #FergusonSolidarity • #JusticeforMike
  7. 7. SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY Message strategies Journalists Activists Informational 78.3% 50% Emotional 12.4% 43.1% Symbolic 1.2% 5.0% Organizing 1.2% 5.0%
  8. 8. SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY Message frames Journalists Activists Factual info 63.8% 30% Conversations 20.6% 11.2% Opinion 8.4% 41.5% Call to action 2.3% 6.5% Other 4.9% 10.8%
  9. 9. SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY Takeaways • Journalists & activists used message strategies & frames in ways consistent with established practices • Focus on information- sharing • Lack of reflection
  10. 10. SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY Further research • Retweet & favorite patterns of Ferguson tweets • Journalists & activists: Information-sharing • Activists: Self-expression
  11. 11. SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY Questions @amberhinsley ahinsley@slu.edu

ISOJ 2015

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