Drs. Jieun Shin and Katherine Ognyanova explored how the quality and reputation of news outlets were related to their social media capital, or the resources an organization has generated on its social media accounts.
A study of 312 news outlets was conducted by analyzing their Twitter accounts’ metrics in July 2019.
Key findings include:
- The quality of the news outlet’s website did not have a significant effect on social media capital. The quality of the sites was based on companies’ results that review content of news organizations.
- However, the global sample and the conservative users sample had a significant negative association between site quality and audience news sharing. This indicates that low-quality news site messages were more frequently shared than high-quality ones among these groups.
- Reputation was consistently linked to social media capital among both the conservative and liberal groups.
- The model accounted for the fact that there were less “high-quality” right-leaning news outlets. With this, both groups still tended to engage with more reputable news sources.
- The New York Times was the most awarded news media source from 2010-2019 followed by The Washington Post and NPR. (26, 16, 13, respectively).
- The researchers explained this may have attributed to the stronger link between reputation and social media capital, since reputation is more “visible” than maintaining a high-quality news site.
Learn more about how news outlets’ social media capital is influenced by its reputation