Colombian Journalists on Twitter: Opinions, Gatekeeping, and Transparency in Political Coverage
This article examines how the 100 most followed Colombian journalists on Twitter cover a controversial politician, former president Alvaro Uribe. Utilizing a social media analysis platform that applies a supervised-machine algorithm along with manual content analysis, this study shows that journalists not only negatively evaluated Uribe’s comeback to the Colombian political arena but also profusely offered opinions about the politician on Twitter, following historical patterns that entangle journalism and politics in the Colombian context. It also reveals that journalists who work for elite-traditional media tend to be more in accord with some journalistic norms than nonelite reporters. The most followed journalists on Twitter seem to understand the new dynamic of social media as they have moved away from their traditional position by linking external media, and not only their own outlets, in their tweets. Finally, elite reporters offer more transparency than their nonelite counterparts.