Shares, Pins, and Tweets: News Readership from Daily Papers to Social Media

Journalism Studies, March 2014

25 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2015

See all articles by Marco T. Bastos

Marco T. Bastos

University College Dublin; City, University of London

Date Written: January 23, 2014


This paper compares the volume of news articles per section in newspapers and social media platforms. To this end, two weeks of news articles were retrieved by querying the public Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) of The New York Times and The Guardian and the diffusion of each article on social media platforms Twitter, Facebook, Google , Delicious, Pinterest, and StumbleUpon, was tracked. The results show significant differences in the topics emphasized by newspaper editors and social media users. While users of social media platforms favor opinion pieces, along with national, local, and world news, in sharp contrast the decision of news editors emphasized sports and the economy, but also entertainment and celebrity news. Common to social networking sites is the prevalence of items about arts, technology, and opinion pieces. Niche social networks like StumbleUpon and Delicious presented a greater volume of articles about science and technology, while Pinterest is mostly dedicated to fashion, arts, lifestyle, and entertainment. Twitter is the only social network to have presented a statistically significant correlation with the distribution of news items per section by The Guardian and The New York Times. The results of this study provide a bridge between journalism and audience research and present evidence of the differences between readership in social and legacy media.

Keywords: Facebook, Journalism, News Sections, Newspapers, Social Media, Guardian, New York Times, Twitter

Suggested Citation

Bastos, Marco T. and Bastos, Marco T., Shares, Pins, and Tweets: News Readership from Daily Papers to Social Media (January 23, 2014). Journalism Studies, March 2014, Available at SSRN:

Marco T. Bastos (Contact Author)

University College Dublin ( email )

Belfield, Dublin 4 4

City, University of London ( email )

United Kingdom

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