The affordance effect: Gatekeeping and (non)reciprocal journalism on Twitter

Jacob Groshek, Edson Tandoc

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study examines contemporary gatekeeping as it intersects with the evolving technological affordances of social media platforms and the ongoing negotiation of professionalized journalistic norms and routines in contentious politics. Beginning with a corpus of just over 4.2 million Tweets about the racially charged Ferguson, Missouri protests, a series of network analyses were applied to track shifts over time and to identify influential actors in this communicative space. These models informed further analyses that indicated legacy news organizations and affiliated journalists were least present and only marginally engaged in covering these events, and that other users on Twitter emerged as far more prominent gatekeepers. Methodological considerations and implications about the importance of dialogic and reciprocal activities for journalism are discussed in building on previous theorizing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th 2016 International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2016
EditorsAnatoliy Gruzd, Jenna Jacobson, Evelyn Ruppert, Philip Mai, Dhiraj Murthy
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Print)9781450339384
StatePublished - 11 Jul 2016
Event7th International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2016 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jul 201613 Jul 2016

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference7th International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Dialogic communication
  • Gatekeeping
  • Network analysis
  • Reciprocal journalism
  • Social media

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