Theme: Parties & Elections | Content Type: Journal article

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Movements and Gatekeepers in a Hybrid Media Environment: A Comparison of the Twitter Networks of Corbynism and the People's Vote Movement

Lewis Bassett and Tom Mills


Masaaki Komori

| 1 min read

Digital technology has recalibrated and become integrated with existing media institutions, practices and power structures. From the perspective of movements, this hybridised media environment presents a new set of opportunities and constraints. Movement messages can be directly disseminated without relying on media ‘gatekeepers’, and a movement's prominence on digital platforms can translate into much broader reach via the ‘legacy’ media, which continue to reach the largest audiences. This article compares the extent to which two influential political movements in the UK, the Corbyn movement and the movement for a People's Vote, were able to attract the attention of mainstream media ‘gatekeepers’ on Twitter. We do so first by identifying core actors in both movements on Twitter, and then editors, political editors and digital editors at major news media outlets on the platform. We find that the People's Vote movement attracted far more attention from editors than the Corbyn movement, largely owing to the extent to which the former integrated some key players from the British news media into its online network.

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