Keeping the Gates on Twitter: Interactivity and Sourcing Habits of Lebanese Traditional Media
Using gatekeeping and sourcing frameworks, this study content analyzes Lebanese media tweets to examine the relationship between the use of sources and tweet popularity in a media environment marked by political parallelism and high diversity. The study revealed the media’s tendency to rely almost exclusively on governmental officials and other political elites. Official and governmental sources also dominated tweets discussing news more so than other types. Tweets quoting officials, however, were not related to more favorites, retweets, or comments. Newspapers exhibited an increased tendency to lean on officials compared with television stations. Newspapers also seemed to be keener on keeping their own information flowing throughout by linking to their own outlets. The analysis points to traditional gatekeeping practices, evident in the use of the platform as a marketing tool to promote outlets’ own content, to source governmental and party officials and journalists, and to discuss the news.