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Analysing Journalists Written English on Twitter

A comparative study of language used in news coverage on Twitter and conventional news sites

Written by D. Askman

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Bachelor Thesis






Bachelor Thesis: Quick access to Twitter and news report information Twitter: News is usually published before news organizations publish information in their blogs or articles. An example is the Mumbai bombing in 2008, which was widely reported on Twitter “on the spot”, and later news organizations used these tweets as references when broadcasting stories (Hermida, 2010). Twitter is praised for its ability to spread important news and connect people quickly across the globe. On Twitter, people connect through instant messaging and sharing/discussing information. Scholars in this field call this phenomenon "collective intelligence" (Malone et al., 2009). Although Twitter is an accepted and widely used global news source, Twitter’s approach has also been criticized. When discussing Twitter, the media raised doubts and questions about the legitimacy of the content. Some reporters even laughed at Twitter and the people who used it. Maureen Dowd of The New York Times labeled Twitter as “a toy for boring celebrities and high school girls” (Hemida, 2010). Having said that, it is worth mentioning that US President Donald Trump uses Twitter every day to spread information and make statements. As early as 2009, British news organizations had 121 accounts on Twitter and more than 1 million followers. This demonstrates the important role of Twitter in sharing news (Hermida, 2010). Twitter has a wide user base, which explains the comprehensive content found on the platform. Some verified user groups are significantly larger than others, such as journalists. A report stated that journalists accounted for almost 25% of Twitter's verified users. The report also claims that journalists or news organizations are the most active group on Twitter in terms of the number of posts (Kamps, 2020). An article in 2010 discussed the increasing use of Twitter by journalists and how this might affect traditional news networks. For many journalists and news networks or newspapers, Twitter is primarily a marketing tool used to sell more prints or increase the number of online readers. In addition, editors and reporters both use Twitter as a research tool for information gathering when dealing with stories. The use of Twitter also provides the opportunity to retain feedback on their work in the form of comments, retweets, and likes. Ahmadasserts believes that Twitter should be seen as a supplement to traditional news channels rather than a replacement (Ahmad, 2010). 2.1.4 Informal language There is a slight disagreement as to what is the key feature of informal language. Biber (1988) used factor analysis (a related statistical technique) to deal with this problem to determine what people consider informality. Informal features in language include: the increase in the number of verbs, pronouns, adverbs and interjections. "It is said that the higher the frequency of nouns, adjectives, prepositions and articles, the lower the level of background information required to understand the text, thus making the text more formal, while more verbs, pronouns and interjections refer to more direct The context makes it less formal” (Hailan and Jiang, 2017). In addition, Chang and Swales (1999) studied 40 published style manuals that recommend grammatical features for inclusion in formal writing. First-person pronouns, abbreviations, and variants of abbreviations are listed in the "Informal Elements" section of these manuals. 2.2 Research objectives 2.2.1 The problem states that politicians and journalists discuss Twitter and its impact on journalism more frequently. However, because Weibo services like Twitter are relatively new, research in this area is limited. The analysis recommends acknowledging the linguistic characteristics compared to "standard news" on news sites, and more specifically the informal language in news-related tweets. Subsequently, the findings of the survey and its possible impact will be discussed from a broader perspective. If the assumption of enhanced informality in news reports on Twitter proves to be correct, then uncertainty about how this will affect language acquisition and trigger English language changes will increase. Analyze the role of the Internet in the continuous change of the English language. 3.1 Data collection methods Collect utterances from four different websites: Twitter, CNN, New York Times, and Washington Post. The tweets included in the analysis cannot be randomly selected, because tweets related to news stories written by the reporter for his current employer (news website) are crucial. Therefore, data collection can be classified as a choice of purpose, with limitations on practical factors within a range. Bachelor's thesis. First select the tweet, then select the article; the article is selected from the link in the tweet, which also supports the relevance of the tweet to a specific news story. Anyone can access all contained data. Read Less