Tweeting #Ferguson: Affective Publics, Boundary Maintenance, and Journo-Activism in a Mediatized Field

  • Stephen R. Barnard


Combining digital ethnographic content analysis with social network analysis and link analysis, this chapter examines uses of Twitter by a small cohort of journalists and activists in the aftermath of the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. After providing context about the case and reviewing literature on networked journalism and activism, the chapter compares tweets from each cohort. While the traditions of objective journalism and affective activism persisted, notable exceptions occurred, particularly following acts of police suppression. These findings demonstrate the adaptability of some journalistic norms in the era of mediatization. Furthermore, the networked communities of professional and activist Twitter users were overlapping and interactive, suggesting hybridity at the margins of the journalistic field.


Activism Affect Field theory Hybridity Journalism Mediatization Objectivity Social media Social movements Twitter 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen R. Barnard
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologySt. Lawrence UniversityCantonUSA

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