So, last year (2016) my course on social media in political communication and Journalism premiered in the Radboud Summer School. This year (2017), I’m glad to report, I’ll be teaching the course again!
My experiences of last year’s course were very positive, and the students thought so too! It’s an intensive week – entire days of lectures and assignments – and many social activities in the evenings. There will be some tweaks to the course’s design, but the core of the course will remain the same.
In short, the morning sessions focus on theories about social media in political communication and journalism. The afternoon sessions are hands-on sessions on data collection, and data analysis. The afternoon sessions will particularly focus on what you can and can not do with social media data. You will also perform some analyses yourself. The main tool for social media analysis will be R. Why? In short, it’s free, flexible, has special packages for social media data, works on Windows, Apple and Linux computers. There are many more advantages and of course some disadvantages (there’s no perfect software package).
Regarding the afternoon hands-on sessions, we will use several English language social media data sets, available for empirical analysis. These are tweet data, Facebook posts, profile data as well as network data.
DAY 1 (AUGUST 7, 2017)
- Kick-off meeting of the course
- Introduction to social media, theory and data
- Short presentation of student’s project interests
DAY 2 (AUGUST 8, 2017)
- Approaches to studying social media data in journalism and political communication
- The collection of social media data: API’s and software tools
- Empirical descriptions and visualization of social media data
- Approaches to longitudinal analysis of social media data
DAY 3 (AUGUST 9, 2017)
- Social media content analysis: theory and methods
- Content analysis: political and news issues, sentiment analysis
- Different approaches to analyzing social media content data
- Analyzing social media content
DAY 4 (AUGUST 10, 2017)
- Social network analysis on social media data
- Different approaches to networks on social media: social relations, retweets and texts
- Analyzing social networks and communication networks on social media
DAY 5 (AUGUST 11, 2017)
- Advanced approaches to analyzing social media data
- Setting the agenda for social media research in journalism and political communication
- Student presentations
Below are some pictures of the course.