A Little Birdie Told Me: Journalistic and Individualistic Twitter Use of Local Television News Reporters

A Little Birdie Told Me: Journalistic and Individualistic Twitter Use of Local Television News Reporters
By Laura Baker - 2014

Twitter is a social networking platform that connects its users to information in the form of posts that are a maximum of 140 characters long. Twitter has become an important method for news distribution for both print and broadcast news stations. News organizations, individuals and journalists all use Twitter for different purposes, which raises questions as to how local television news reporters tweets both as journalists and as individuals. This study analyzes the tweets of the personal Twitter accounts of five local television news reporters from each of the local television news stations in Toronto (City News, CTV Toronto, Global Toronto, CP24 and CBC Toronto). Findings reveal the existence of blurring of personal (individualistic) and professional (journalistic) uses of Twitter. The tweets from the personal Twitter accounts of local television news reporters in Toronto suggest that while these reporters still take their gatekeeping roles as journalists seriously, they sometimes take advantage of Twitter as a platform that encourages public declaration and personal observations.