Newspaper Ebola articles differ from Twitter updates

Zhang, Xueying; Bie, Bijie; Billings, Andrew C.
October 2017
Newspaper Research Journal;Fall2017, Vol. 38 Issue 4, p497
Academic Journal
Social media have emerged as a vital tool of communication for reaching and engaging broader audiences; however, few studies discussed the differences of news norms and journalists’ practices defined by the news platforms. Using framing analysis, this study examined how U.S. media presented the 2014 Ebola outbreak both within newspaper stories and within each newspaper’s corresponding Twitter account. Twitter accounts deviated from traditional print platforms by having a more magnified voice following key Ebola events, using more updates and science frames and less conflicts, responsibility, consequence, and savior frames. Degrees of alarming or reassuring tones differed by platform as well. While newspapers fulfilled traditional media responsibilities, the Twitter accounts were geared toward public concern during the epidemic escalation, serving responsibilities more befitting a health organization.


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