St. Lawrence University
Alita Rogers

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words; Scratch That, Just 24 Words

For my third Methods assignment I wanted to look at how activists use images on Twitter compared to how journalist use them. Specifically seeing who tweeted more objectively and who tweeted more affectively. In order to conduct this research I used the search terms and filters to limit my data field creating a more manageable data field. I limited my tweets to those featuring images during the first month after the shooting.

I made four of my own tags to help me categorize my tweet including: Objective Activist, Affective Activists, Objective Journalist, and Affective Journalists. I am confident in my use of these tags and feel that this coding assignment shed light on an interesting topic in an effective way. The tags revealed that activists use pictures with affective and objective tones at almost the same level. On the other hand journalists hardly ever tweet photos with affective tones. This was not that surprising to me. Journalists tend to tweet more objectively in general, so when pictures are added they held fast to this ideal and did not involve affective language.

These results slightly differ form my original hypothesis. I made the prediction that when tweets include images the tone average will shift and be more affective rather that objective. While activist’s tweets did slightly elicit a more affective caption, journalists did not follow this patter differing from my original prediction.

My results show, yet again, the difference between activist and journalist. This data is important because although they are both tweeting about a current event, depending on which people you are following and reading tweets from, your opinion on a matter could be swayed without you even knowing it because of the tone of the tweet.