Tweeting while leading : President trump’s twitter habits from a Washington media perspective
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This research is an in-depth study of how the current President of the United States is tweeting while leading our country and how that has impacted the traditional information gatekeeping role of the news media. By applying agenda setting theory as is central theoretical framework, this study examines how President Trump’s penchant for tweeting has perhaps permanently changed the relationship between commander in chief, press, and the public. It finds that while presidents in the past have attempted to control the news cycle, the influential nature of his Twitter account allows President Trump to take the agenda setting reins in a way that no other politican has to date. The findings from a series of in-depth semi-structured interviews with professional journalists covering President Trump chronicle the challenges they face on a daily basis and how they are working smarter and harder in light of the president’s “fake news” rhetoric. The research was conducted by an experienced journalist who understands the daily grind of the news coming out of the White House, having written for multiple newspapers, produced for four national television news networks, and covered three different presidential administrations over the course of a fifteen year career in news. Along with benefiting our scholarly understanding, this research has the potential to help news professionals understand the impact President Trump’s use of Twitter is having on their work, their newsrooms, and the future of their profession.