Towards New Standards? Interaction Patterns of German Political Journalists in the Twittersphere

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Abstract

Research has provided few findings on the patterns of communication and interaction between political and media actors in social media and how these interactions have evolved. The present study analyzes how journalists registered in the German Federal Press Conference interact with members of the German Bundestag (member of parliament) on Twitter and what type of content they exchange with each other. Based on two time periods (2016, 2020), the communicative practices and the patterns of interactions are examined. New insights into the conversational structure are generated through a combination of content and network analysis. The results indicate a trend in the use of Twitter among the actors as a political opinion medium. While the dissemination of opinions among politicians remains stable, journalists use Twitter interactions more to express a subjective and critical view and less for news coverage over time. Furthermore, the analysis notes that journalists generally comment in negative terms on the parties, except for the Greens. To some extent, the results indicate that the usual journalistic norms of objectivity and balance do not apply for interactions in the Twittersphere. To evaluate whether this pattern also applies to other countries, more comparative investigations in the domain of media–politics interactions on Twitter are needed.

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APA

Schumacher, N. F., Maurer, P., & Nuernbergk, C. (2021). Towards New Standards? Interaction Patterns of German Political Journalists in the Twittersphere. International Journal of Press/Politics. https://doi.org/10.1177/19401612211025502

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