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Rivera, A. (2014). From grapevine to news: an analysis of viral posts in social media published in articles in Inquirer.net and Philstar.com from 2012-2013. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines, College of Mass Communication


Abstract:

As viral posts flow endlessly in the information highway, it is no longer a question of what it means to be viral. It is a question of what it means to be viral and relevant. This study delves on virality and viral post reportage in a Philippine context. Social media-spread viral posts reported in 160 articles in Inquirer.net and Philstar.com from 2012 to 2013 were analyzed in this study through content analysis. Interviews with the editors of Inquirer.net and Philstar.com were also done to provide context on how gatekeeping methods were done in reporting viral posts.

One goal of this study is to provide an insight on the common themes and elements in the viral posts that were reported on the two news sites from 2012 to 2013. Another is to show how news sites do gatekeeping in reporting the viral posts.

Findings show that emotionally arousing Internet posts are highly likely to go viral. Most of the viral posts reported on have a negative emotional coloring, specifically anger. These viral posts are also highly likely to get reported on news sites if they involve Filipino public figures, usually politicians. These posts have gone viral on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The articles that fall under news or headlines involve national issues, but most fall under other sections which involve technology and social media.


Keywords: Inquirer.net, Philstar.com, Viral, Virality, Online news, New media, Online news website


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