Tweeting the news: hard journalists and soft media. a case study of three digital newsrooms.
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This article consists in a case study analysing three Italian digital newsrooms. The research investigates the ways in which editors in chief and newsrooms use Twitter. The journalistic use of Twitter has been the object of a growing number of researches in several national contexts. Their results are hardly generalizable and largely context-dependent. This work observes the choices made by editors in chief concerning their use of social media profiles both on the level of newsroom and from an individual perspective. Following the literature, this analysis points to two theoretical lines: the level of interaction towards Twitter followers and the distribution of soft or hard news. The empirical investigation is based on semi-structured interviews with editors in chief and social media managers as well as on the analysis of tweets produced by their Twitter accounts. Results show that, in the flow everyday newsroom production, Twitter works prevalently as a way to distribute contents. On the contrary, journalists' individual profiles present legitimation practices regarding both their personal brand and journalism itself.