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The journalist as promoter, celebrity, and joker

The new and novel ways that journalists behave on social media is the focus of my latest research paper, co-authored with Claudia Mellado. The article, The Promoter, Celebrity, and Joker Roles in Journalists’ Social Media Performance, is published in Society Media + Society. It is open access and free to read.

In the article, we advance a way of analysing how journalists are taking on new roles on social media that diverge with established norms and practices. There is the journalist as promoter, either sharing their own work or, more notably, promoting a commercial product or service. There is the journalist as celebrity, behaving as if they are famous. And then there is the journalist as joker, trying to be funny or amusing on social media.

In our conclusion, we suggest:

Indeed, the application of these roles to social media practices could answer key questions that need to be urgently answered. First, if social media is understood as an “influencer economy,” it is important to investigate whether and how far established journalism is losing ground to influencer-driven information, and what this means for how audiences receive, interpret, and trust content on social media. Such research would help to identify how established journalistic practices are shaped or are shaping an influencer-driven media space, as well as considering the consequences on journalistic practices.

The article is free to read on the Social Media + Society website.

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