‘Vox Twitterati’: Investigating the effects of social media exemplars in online news articles

Andrew R N Ross (Lead Author), Delia Dumitrescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


There is a growing trend among online news outlets to include Twitter posts as an equivalent to the traditional “vox pop” or “man-on-the-street” interview. Media effects research has documented the ability of vox pops to influence consumer perceptions of news issues within the traditional media environment, but there is limited research on the possible effects that including social media exemplars as vox pops within editorially curated articles might have on issue perceptions. Drawing on the exemplification effects literature to inform the experimental design, we conduct two studies on two topics of either low or high national salience and find strong evidence that vox pop tweets can influence perceptions of public opinion and, indirectly, readers’ own opinions on an issue. Results are discussed in light of implications for journalistic practice, media effects research and the wider democratic process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)962-983
Number of pages22
JournalNew Media and Society
Issue number4
Early online date12 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • Vox Pop
  • Twitter
  • Online News
  • Exemplification Effect
  • Public Opinion
  • Experimental

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