Researchers at Northeastern University say they have found a "modest correlation" between journalists' Twitter networks and the ideological aspects of their news content, which marks "a crucial first step toward greater critical examination of emerging patterns of media bias."
The team analyzed about 502,000 news articles generated by 1,047 journalists at 25 news outlets.
Generally, both left-leaning and right-leaning reporters' followerships correlated with their ideologies, and their networks' ideologies were ascertained by factoring in the reporters, the congressional accounts they track, and other politically active Twitter accounts.
The researchers built a series of phrases representative of specific ideologies by analyzing about 150,000 congressional public statements, cross-referenced with their frequency of use and contexts. The team then examined the use of these terms in the reporters' news content to scale the ideological magnitude of their coverage.
The researchers say the moderate correlation they observed reflects the complex interplay between journalistic output and social networks.
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Abstracts Copyright © 2017 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA
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