The powers that tweet: social media as news sources in the Czech Republic
journal contributionposted on 09.09.2016, 08:56 by Radim Hladik, Vaclav StetkaVaclav Stetka
This article examines the impact of social media on Czech news media content. The study relies on a content analysis of a six-month sample of news articles collected in 2013 and focuses on social networking sites (SNSs), namely Facebook and Twitter, in their capacity as acknowledged sources in the agenda of traditional news media in the Czech Republic. The results include information on the differences between tabloid and quality press, the topics and actors that are likely to be associated with social media in their capacity as sources, the links between social media sources and the geographical focus of the news, and the type of social media content that the news media are inclined to use. The main features of the utilization of SNSs as news sources in the Czech Republic can be characterized by low intensity, a preference for domestic affairs, and a bias toward tabloidization. In several examined categories, we found evidence of consistently disparate uses of Facebook and Twitter that caution against generalizations about the role of social media in journalism and signal the requirement for a more nuanced approach to individual platforms. The article concludes that Czech news media do not fully exploit the democratic potential of SNSs and favor elite sources.