Big Tweets on Campus: College Newspapers’ Use of Twitter

Kris Boyle and Carol Zuegner

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Abstract: The authors examined Twitter use among campus newspapers, analyzing a sample of Twitter pages from 25 award-winning campus publications and coding for the frequency, content, and interactivity of the tweets. This study revealed these newspapers were tweeting most often during daytime hours and most tweets were about campus-based news. Unlike mainstream newspapers, the publication frequency of these college newspapers and the number of users following their Twitter pages were tied to the newspapers’ tweet frequency. The authors concluded that like their professional counterparts, college newspapers could find ways to more effectively use Twitter. Journalists now and in the future will have to engage their audience in what Robinson (2013) described as a process that involves social media and conversation. Whether in the classroom or on a college newspaper staff, students need to be aware of that conversation and be a part of it.

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