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Researchers analyze Twitter’s impact on presidential debate engagement

November 30, 2012

Teamed up with Dallas Morning News and Florida Times-Union, tweets from specific geographic regions were collected to examine how tweeters responded to the candidates and their performances in debates by MU professors Mitchell McKinney and Brian Houston. The researchers were interested in differences based on different regions, and compared their results to nationwide tweets. This research aligns with the Media of the Future initiative.

Story by Reynolds Journalism Institute News

With the presidential debates and election over, aUniversity of Missouri-based Twitter analysis research team is beginning to really process and analyze “the bigger picture” of Twitter’s impact on debate viewer’s political engagement.

MU Professors Mitchell McKinney and Brian Houstonteamed up with two U.S. newspapers, Dallas Morning News and Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville), to obtain tweets from specific geographic regions to examine how tweeters responded to the candidates and their performances. The professors, who are completing a fellowship at Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI), want to know if there were differences based on the different regions.

The team has also been comparing the results to nationwide tweets.

Although the researchers were able to provide data of the most tweeted moments to the participating newspapers, that was only the tip of the iceberg for analyzing the data, said researchers. More…