Don’t trust #CDNMedia: A corpus-assisted discourse analysis of Twitter posts from eight Canadian communities during #elxn42.
Originally designed for networking and to deliver mostly inconsequential information, social media is becoming more prevalent in political landscapes , while traditional local news environments are diminishing. Part of a global trend, local news outlets in Canada are closing faster than new ones spring up to replace them . This trend is concerning in light of a report by the Knight Commission , which described the availability of local information as something which is "as vital to the healthy functioning of communities as clean air, safe streets, good schools, and public health" . When the news being shared is political in nature, one can argue that it is uniquely vital to society, as political news helps citizens make informed decisions, particularly during election time . As traditional media outlets close, and particularly in light of recent Facebook algorithm changes, many people turn to alternative sources of news, like Twitter to find out about current and politically relevant information in their communities , . This trend presents us with questions: Does Twitter currently function as an alternative political news source for communities outside major media centers, particularly when traditional news outlets are being closed? And if not, how is it currently functioning with respect to election news?
The definitive version of record is available at https://doi.org/10.1109/MTS.2019.2894473.