The interactive spectrum: the use of social media in UK regional newspapers

The rise in use of social media platforms as tools of communication has presented journalists with an abundance of opportunities and challenges in equal measure.

These platforms have enabled journalists to engage directly with their readers and develop new forms of interactivity, both pertinent and banal in nature. My most recent research paper analyses the content of multiple social media profiles at two daily regional newspapers in the United Kingdom, and determines how interactivity between journalists and readers is being shaped.

The article identifies a spectrum of interactivity, which indicates that individual journalists are engaging with their readers in an informal, personal and reciprocal manner via social media platforms. This is in contrast to the formal approach being taken by their associated media companies that are transferring traditional top–down forms of communication from the offline world to the online world.

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