Dynamics of Content Diversity Within Issues, Across Platforms: A Pesticide Debate in the News and on Twitter

Anke Wonneberger, Sandra Jacobs, Iina Hellsten


Diversity of represented viewpoints in media content is a vital aspect of democratic societies. Building on insights about content diversity between topics, this study assesses frame and actor diversity within an issue and across media platforms. We conducted a manual quantitative content analysis of frames and actors in Dutch Twitter posts (N = 2,224) and newspaper articles (N = 318) about the banned pesticide fipronil, and we compared categorical and relative diversity of frames and actors between platforms. The results revealed an overall higher diversity for newspaper articles compared with tweets. Most strikingly, the diversity dynamics were quite similar in newspaper content and Twitter messages, but this similarity vanished once we distinguished between diagnostic and prognostic actor and frame diversity, with news articles showing a greater focus on solutions. The proposed diversity measures help discern temporal stages within issues and contribute to our understanding of intraissue dynamics across media platforms.


frame diversity, actor diversity, content diversity, issue arenas, Twitter, fipronil

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