Graduation Year


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Program or Major

English with Concentration in Writing and Mass Communications

Faculty Advisor

Becky DiBiasio


Social media, Journalism, Television broadcasting of news, Mass media, United States


The microblogging site, Twitter, was created in 2006 and changed the way the news is received and distributed. Since its inception into daily life, Twitter provides users with an outlet to both access and produce news updates anywhere, at any time. Even average citizens join the news cycle by posting descriptions, photographs, or videos of events in the community. This honors thesis examines the relationship between professional journalists and these citizen journalists, focusing on the influence of Twitter. Using interviews with a selection of broadcast and print journalists, this thesis investigates how professional journalists use Twitter and citizen journalists' reports in everyday news production. Furthermore, an in-depth comparison of the news organizations' coverage of the September 11th terrorist attacks (2001) and the Boston Marathon Bombings (2013) allows for a closer examination of the influence these tools have during high-intensity reporting.