Personal and Private: Using Framing and Network Theory to Examine the Diffusion of Opinion Articles on Facebook
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJohannessen, M. R. (2018). Personal and Private: Using Framing and Network Theory to Examine the Diffusion of Opinion Articles on Facebook. Journal of E-Technology Volume, 9(2), 49-64. https://doi.org/10.6025/jet/2018/9/2/49-64
ABSTRACT: Purpose: Demonstrate the use of framing and network analysis to explore how the two concepts can contribute to understanding diffusion of content in social media. Design/methodology/approach: Using the most liked and shared opinion articles from Norway’s leading newspapers as starting point, the article applies framing analysis to discover which frames are most likely to go viral. Further, social network analysis of the Facebook pages of these newspapers demonstrate the discussion communities and reach of the articles. Findings: The most popular opinion articles are written in a personal tone and aimed at private and domestic topics. The social network analysis shows that most of these articles generate their own, free-standing discussion communities. The range of engagement with articles posted on Facebook varies a lot, indicating that framing the opinion article correctly is of high importance for generating discussion. Research Limitations/Implications: The study is limited to one country and two mainstream newspapers. A larger variety in terms of geography and media types is needed for confirmation and future studies. However, the findings confirm that personal framing is important to receive attention in social media. The implications for the wider society can be interpreted both as democratization and as a threat to rational public discourse. Originality/Value: The study demonstrates a novel approach to study how the framing of opinion articles contribute to diffusion of content in social media. The research approach of framing and network analysis is a process that can be used by newspapers and journalists to track the impact and reach of the stories they publish.