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

    Han, Chunjia and Yang, Mu and 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 , p. 120849. ISSN 0040-1625.

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    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.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: Chunjia Han
    Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2022 06:32
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:15


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