The Fourth Branch

When Tragedy Strikes, Twitter Looks to Journalists

There was a dramatic increase in journalists’ average retweets per tweet on Saturday, the day of the synagogue attack.

For most of the past week, Washington, D.C., journalists had a low average retweet-per-tweet count. But that changed Saturday in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack.

On Saturday, the group had approximately 196 tweets related to the shooting—nearly half of the total tweets that day. The information clearly resonated with audiences, as there were nearly 800 retweets per tweet.

Interestingly, the media’s tweets about other hot topics earlier in the week, such as the bombs mailed to anti-Trump leaders, did not receive nearly as much engagement.