Digital-Born and Legacy News Media on Twitter during the UK General Election

In this RISJ factsheet, we presented an analysis of a sample of 4.26 million news-related tweets from a larger dataset of 28 million tweets collected during the 2017 UK General Election. The document examined the role of digital-born and legacy news media in online political discussions. To do this, we mapped Twitter discussions around a range of keywords and hashtags tied to the election as well as the activity of 129 British media outlets, including 105 legacy media and 24 digital-born outlets.

Our findings showed that legacy media, including most broadcasters – BBC News, Channel 4 News, and Sky News figured very prominently in the political discussion on Twitter. The Economist and the Financial Times as well as a few pure digital-players also drew high levels of engagement and attention on Twitter during the same period of time, though they were much less active in posting news content.

Overall, the study showed legacy media generated almost four times as much activity and engagement as digital-born news media during the election. More precisely, broadcasters were responsible for the highest number of tweets related to the election and were the more frequently mentioned during that period. Newspapers reached parity with broadcasters in terms of overall tweet volume during conventional political events like the television debates and the polling day.

To access the full fact sheet click here.