Protest News and Facebook Engagement: How the Hierarchy of Social Struggle Is Rebuilt on Social Media

Summer Harlow, Danielle K. Kilgo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This content analysis expands protest paradigm research, examining the relationship between Facebook user engagement and newspaper protest coverage. Stories not posted to social media housed more negative frames that delegitimized protesters. For select protests, Facebook users engaged more with articles with legitimizing content, suggesting users, like journalists, follow a paradigm that legitimizes some protests and marginalizes others. We discuss these implications and consider how engagement plays a role in a protest’s ability to gain visibility and public support. Findings show the media and the public marginalize movements within a framework that rebuilds a hierarchy of social struggle on social media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)665-691
Number of pages27
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
Volume98
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 25 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was funded by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s Emerging Scholars grant.

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was funded by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication?s Emerging Scholars grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 AEJMC.

Keywords

  • audience engagement
  • protest coverage
  • social media
  • social movements

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