The rise of Twitter in presidential communication: An examination of the relationship between President Trump's Twitter feed and the media coverage of his first 100 days
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The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between Donald Trump’s Twitter feed and the media coverage of Trump’s agenda expressed in his tweets during the “honeymoon period.” From the theoretical perspective of agenda setting theory, this research empirically explores the salience issues present in Trump’s Twitter postings and compare them to the media agenda. Descriptive statistics of Trump’s tweets and the coverage of his tweets from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal show that nearly half of Trump’s Twitter posts are covered in the news media, indicating that Trump’s Twitter feed has the ability to transfer the salience of issues expressed in his tweets to the media agenda. The research results also show that Trump’s Twitter agenda is prioritized by the media, especially topics regarding presidential statements, economics and business, immigration, domestic politics, foreign affairs, investigations, and news media. Furthermore, cross-lagged correlations suggest a strong influence from Trump’s tweets to the New York Times and the Washington Post’s coverage of his agenda, while the reverse correlation is relatively weak.