City Research Online

Exploring narrative linearity between Twitter and the news: Echoes of the Arab Spring in Brazil

Levy, H. & Mercea, D. ORCID: 0000-0003-3762-2404 (2021). Exploring narrative linearity between Twitter and the news: Echoes of the Arab Spring in Brazil. Discourse and Society: an international journal for the study of discourse and communication in their social, political and cultural contexts, 32(6), pp. 689-707. doi: 10.1177/09579265211023223


This article explores the use of narrative theory as an analytical framework to investigate the extent to which popular hashtags and the news can develop into intersecting stories. It juxtaposes the case of hashtag-based reports seen during the Arab Spring to understand the coverage of notorious political episodes in Brazil. Namely, the 2016 impeachment of Dilma Rousseff and the 2018 election of Jair Bolsonaro. Here, narrative linearity emerges as a tool to observe the borrowing of Twitter hashtags in several journalistic pieces. It is contended that the linearity of authorship, narration, and representation of time appears as a satisfactory pathway to trace the development of hashtags into popular news stories. Results suggested that hashtags can significantly follow narratives and agendas in journalism while differing from their original social media context.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Discourse and Society (SAGE: The article is protected by copyright and reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses.
Publisher Keywords: Journalism, Arab Spring, Narrative Linearity, Brazil, Social Media
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
SWORD Depositor:
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