Posted by: alexandrapdxblog | November 27, 2017

Social Change Communication: Reciprocal Journalism

Lewis, Holton, and Coddington focus on how social media (specifically Twitter and Facebook) facilitates reciprocal forms of journalism. News organizations strive for high engagement of their audiences, yet are reluctant to allow them fully in the creating of content. Reciprocal journalism encourages community members to “like” posts on Facebook, retweet links from news sources, and tag locations and people in the community. That on its own is a public invitation for reciprocation.

The authors break reciprocity into three components: direct, indirect and sustained. Direct reciprocity is most easily achieved with journalists exchanging posts with followers one-on-one. Indirect journalism encourages discussion around various hashtags, and involves the community as a whole. Lastly, sustained reciprocity can expect longterm exchanges on community pages shared by audiences that are involved in the same community or share common interests. Having a sustained engagement allows readers to be actively involved with news content, and encourages more conversation and participation.

Journalists have accepted the way social media has changed journalism, and recognize that while Facebook is not a media source, it is a space that reaches a large population, and a way to bring more voices into the conversation.



  1. Reciprocity is indeed the key concept to social media, whether it be interpersonal or mass communication, reciprocity is definitely omnipresent in the world of social media. While social media may be merely a platform for news, it may as well be considered media as well, since it is where most people get updated on current events, moreso than legacy media sources (TV, Radio, Newspapers). This is further proven by The Pew Research Center that says that in 2017, two-thirds of US adults get their news from social media. Despite this fact, whether social media sites like Facebook and Twitter should be categorized as media is still up for debate. Either way, the monumental impact this platform has had on the gathering and spreading of news is undeniable.

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