Twitter as a News Medium: A Correlation Analysis of Uses and Gratifications with Survey

Student Classification


Faculty Mentor

Dr. Maria (Xueying) Zhang


Journalism and Mass Communication

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2019


With advanced interactive search options aiding in finding specific news topics, social networking sites have emerged as a continuation to traditional media as an important news platform. An example of these sites is Twitter, on which users can receive alerts when a news organization has tweeted or released news on a breaking story. Users can also tweet and reach thousands of other users instantly. Drawing on Use and Gratification theory, this study used Twitter as an example, aiming to compare social networking sites with traditional media such as television, newspaper, and radio in serving as a news platform from a user’s perspective. An online survey was conducted with Qualtrics. 40 participants volunteered and reported significant higher trust of Twitter as a news platform than traditional media, including TV, radio, and newspaper. Correlation analysis further suggested that the more participants reported using Twitter, the more they perceive it as useful for news (N = 40, r = .35, p < .05). However, such correlation was not observed with traditional news media such as TV and radio. Age was also significantly correlated with perceived usefulness of a news platform such that the younger the user, the more likely s/he perceived Twitter useful (N = 40, r = .84, p < .01), and less likely perceiving TV (N = 40, r = .32, p < .05) and print media (N = 40, r = .40, p < .05) as useful. Theoretical and practical implications for journalism and news business were discussed.

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