Description: This study of radio news stations adds to the field of Twitter research into broadcasters' use of this social media microblogging platform; previous research has predominantly focused on television. This case study, based on a survey with numerous open-ended questions completed in face-to-face interviews, begins to fill in data on how Twitter is being used in major market radio station newsrooms. Limited in scope, this exploratory study used answers from seven members of two radio newsrooms in trying to find out if there were stated goals for tweets; if separate, unique content was being tweeted or was content tied to the stations' on-air product; how tweets seek to increase station listenership and/or increase station website traffic; what were the most frequently tweeted topics; what hyperlinks were included in tweets for internal or external web content; and were tweets personal and/or opinionated, or kept more professional with just factual material. From a strategic management theory standpoint, there is neither a stated plan nor goals sought with these newsrooms' use of Twitter. Unique tweet content includes sending out photos which add visuals to the pictureless world of radio news and live-tweeting of ongoing news events, while complementary content is promotional to push audience members to on-air or website products. There are no analytics in place to try to determine whether the stations' listenership or web traffic increases based on tweets. Promotional teases of upcoming on-air guest interviews or news content and/or web content are the most frequently tweeted topics. Hashtags rather than hyperlinks are more often included in the stations' tweets. News personnel stay away from expressing opinions, or being too personal in tweets, but remain more objective and professional by sticking to facts which is in step with the traditional role of journalists.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Lambert, Mark T