Social Media vs Radio

Exploring how social media and radio react to news events

We examine whether and how the speed of spread and decay of news events differ between social media and broadcast media based on a sample of 517,000 hours of talk radio and 18 million tweets produced by elite journalists, politicians and everyday users of the platform. An analysis of the spread of 1,694 news events from 2019 to 2021 reveal that news both breaks faster and decays significantly faster on Twitter versus radio. Furthermore, the discourse surrounding news events is more negative and outraged on Twitter. The results suggest that as news and journalism straddles old and new mediums, audiences that get receive their news via social media will tend to experience faster attention shifts, less persistent attention to any particular news event before moving on to the next, with the news stories themselves framed in more negative and outrageous terms.

Program: Maps
Phase: In Progress
Tags: Social Media Analytics, Media Analytics, Computational Social Science
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