Covering Protests on Twitter: The Influences on Journalists’ Social Media Portrayals of Left- and Right-Leaning Demonstrations in Brazil

Published on 2019-10-19T12:06:20Z (GMT) by
<div><p>This study uses a media sociology approach to untangle how multiple influences shape the way journalists cover left- and right-leaning protests on social media. Several studies have investigated how reporters portray social movements, finding that news marginalizes protestors by focusing on spectacle and violent tactics to the detriment of their ideas. In this study, we turn to journalists’ Twitter accounts to analyze if these patterns are transferred to social media, as predicted by the literature on normalization of new affordances. Through a mixed methodology matching survey and social media data from 466 Brazilian journalists who tweeted about protests in 2013 and 2015, results revealed individual attitudes predicted coverage, indicating that social media was a space for personal, not professional, expression. Contrary to the literature, findings show that social media portrayals were more legitimizing during the left-leaning demonstrations than during the right-leaning elite-driven one. As a result, marginalizing patterns of protest coverage were challenged, not replicated, on Twitter. These findings suggest a limitation of the theory of normalization to explain how global journalists use social media.</p></div>

Cite this collection

Mourão, Rachel R.; Chen, Weiyue (2019): Covering Protests on Twitter: The Influences on Journalists’ Social Media Portrayals of Left- and Right-Leaning Demonstrations in Brazil. SAGE Journals. Collection. https://doi.org/10.25384/SAGE.c.4705172.v1