A transnational networked public sphere of air pollution: analysis of a Twitter network of PM2.5 from the risk society perspective
Drawing on digitaltrace data, publicly accessible government documents, and journalistic reports, this research integrates Beck’s risk society theory with digital media theories to examine the mediated process of risk definition and assessment of PM2.5 (particulate matters with a diameter less than 2.5 micrometers) in a networked public sphere. Network and content analysis of a PM2.5 Twitter network shows that political and professional elite remained the most powerful producers of risk definition. Established media played a key role, yet faced challenges from a variety of actors who disseminated and filtered information. Laypersons, while peripheral, actively interacted with elite and established media. The blurring geographic boundary in the PM2.5 Twitter network revealed an emerging transnational public sphere, which, however, was segregated by language. This research advances a layered understanding of the contingent, paradoxical media impact for social changes in a risk society.
Information Communication and Society
Chen, Wenhong; Tu, Fangjing; and Zheng, Pei, "A transnational networked public sphere of air pollution: analysis of a Twitter network of PM2.5 from the risk society perspective" (2017). Faculty Articles Indexed in Scopus. 469.