Tweeting public affairs or personal affairs? Journalists' tweets, interactivity, and ideology

Na Yeon Lee, Yonghwan Kim, Jiwon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to investigate whether journalists in South Korea use Twitter as a public sphere and what factors may be associated with journalists' Twitter use. Combining a content analysis and an additional survey of Korean journalists, this study examines to what extent journalists talk about public affairs on Twitter and interact with others, and what factors influence their Twitter use. A content analysis of journalists' tweets shows that more than half of the tweets (62%) were topics related to public affairs and more than half (56%) were related to journalists' interaction with the public. However, journalists' Twitter use differed depending on the political ideology of the news outlets where the journalists worked: journalists from liberal newspapers were more likely to interact with the general public on Twitter, talking about public affairs. An additional analysis of survey of Korean journalists reconfirmed that journalists' political ideology is one factor associated with journalists' Twitter use. This study demonstrates the possibility that Twitter can be used as an online public sphere but also that possibility can be limited by political ideology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-864
Number of pages20
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© SAGE Publications.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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