St. Lawrence University
William Groves

Will Groves

Method 3


                For Method 3 I utilized the saved data set of “media OR reporter OR journalist OR journalism OR reporting,” from the dates of August 7th through the end of the month. The tags that I used were ‘journalist affective’ or ‘journalist objective.’ I was interested in seeing how professional journalists attempted to keep their tweeting. Journalists are consistently relied on for factual information and by using these codes it will helped see not only which journalists tweeted affective tweets, but also the magnitude of how many tweets there were for each. The codes also helped me narrow down specific instances or times of the day in which emotionally driven tweets were sent out.

            I am confident in my usage of these codes because being able to decipher if a tweet should be seen as informationally driven or emotionally driven will really change the landscape of Ferguson from a strictly Twitter prospective. One pattern that seemed to provide some insight into when tweets began shifting in sentiment was at night and nearing the ‘curfew’ that the police implemented.  During the day, the tweets that were sent out generally pertained to upcoming media events and where to tune into. But, when protests began up again in the afternoon and evening times, police presents began to heighten and the fear of arrest or greater harm took hold. This is an interesting finding because the idea of journalists being more thought provoking in what we call “prime time” in television, it can sway the public’s opinion of the events in a different way.

            In my initial impressions, I would have thought that journalist’s tweets would have remained more objective and factually driven, whereas activists and other tweeters in Ferguson would have been the ones sending out the affective tweets. But, the highly stressful event drove journalists out of their comfort zones and seemed to affect their professionalism overall. In my personal opinion, tweets coming from journalists should be more factually driven, giving the reader a sense of the real story, not just a horror story of something not pertaining to the bigger issue at hand, in this case the shooting of Michael Brown.