Twitter as a Journalistic Work-Tool in a "Twitter-unfriendly" Society

By: Yaron Ariel   Vered Elishar-Malka  

Twitter is one of the most popular online social networks worldwide, however, in Israel, for the majority of the population - enthusiastic users of other online social networks -Twitter is an unfamiliar arena. Unlike most Israelis, news media professionals (as well as politicians and PR personnel) are dominant users of the platform. To examine Twitter roles in their lives, senior news professionals with active Twitter accounts were identified as the target population, and were then asked to answer a questionnaire that included closed and open questions. Our findings demonstrate that Twitter use has a professional orientation: 64% of the respondents tweet only as part of their journalistic position, and 77% of those tweets are designated for their colleagues and not for the public. A significant difference was found in the presumed influence of Twitter, with a higher attributed influence for those who used Twitter more than two years and the lowest for those who used it for less than three months. Analysis of responses to the open questions on the questionnaire reveals seven primary reasons for the adoption of Twitter: Self-curiosity, Being innovative, Expressing their unique voice to relevant actors, Supporting work routines: quick updating and expanding the circle of sources, Exposure to additional audiences, "Marking territory" - quickly and effectively being the first to publish information, and, Editorial board pressures.

Twitter, Journalistic Work-tool
Technologies in Knowledge Sharing
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Yaron Ariel

Lecturer, Yereel Valley College, Israel

Vered Elishar-Malka