RJI | AP Research Initiative

Historically, readers and viewers have passively looked to news organizations to set the agenda for community conversation, discourse, debate and eventual action. In recent years, many citizens have looked to social media and its more vocal and active community members (influencers) to set the community agenda.

The traditional model could be serious (and seriously dull). The new wave can be littered with cats, Kardashians and fluff. How might news organizations (new and old) keep a sense of substance and gain useful community insights from social media without falling victim to hype and hyperbole?

Following RJI’s first event in collaboration with the Associated Press on Feb. 25 during Social Media Week in New York City, we asked a group of media scholars to comment on the question: Are news organizations setting the agenda or chasing it on social media?

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More than buzz:  Social media and the news agenda
April 16, 2015

The popular notion of a news agenda driven by social media is illustrated by these BuzzFeed headlines: “26 Weird Things We All Did As Kids” and “Is Beyoncé Pregnant Or Just Trolling Us All?”


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