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Do news media and citizens have the same agenda on COVID-19? an empirical comparison of twitter posts

Han, C., Yang, M., Piterou, A. (2021) Do news media and citizens have the same agenda on COVID-19? an empirical comparison of twitter posts. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 169 . ISSN 0040-1625. (doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2021.120849) (KAR id:89568)


This study analyses the agenda setting on social media in the COVID-19 pandemic by exploiting one of the disruptive technologies, big data analytics. Our purpose is to examine whether the agenda of news organisations matches the public agenda on social media in crisis situations, and to explore the feasibility and efficacy of applying big data analytics on social media data. To this end, we used an unsupervised machine learning approach, structural topic modelling and analysed 129,965 tweets posted by UK news media and citizens during April 2, and 8, 2020. Our study reveals a wide diversity of topics in the tweets generated by both groups and finds only a small number of topics are similar, indicating different agendas set in the pandemic. Moreover, we show that citizen tweets focused more on expressing feelings and sharing personal activities while news media tweets talked more about facts and analysis on COVID-19. In addition, our results find that citizens responded more significantly to breaking news. The findings of the study contribute to the agenda setting literature and offer valuable practical implications. © 2021 Elsevier Inc.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.techfore.2021.120849
Uncontrolled keywords: Advanced Analytics; Big data; Data Analytics, Agenda settings; Citizen; COVID-19; Crises situations; Data analytics; Disruptive technology; Empirical comparison; News media; Social media; Twitter posts, Social networking (online), COVID-19; data acquisition; efficiency measurement; learning; machine learning; media role; organizational framework; social media
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and International Business
Depositing User: Mu Yang
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2021 08:54 UTC
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 00:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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