Research (Vol. 55): Bullied on Twitter

An Ethical Analysis of the Trump Effect on Student Media 

Brittany Fleming, Ph.D.
Slippery Rock University

Mark Zeltner, Ph.D.
Slippery Rock University

Cody Nespor, B.S.
University of West Virginia

Abstract: On March 31, 2018, a Pennsylvania state representative used Twitter to confront and challenge the ethics of a student journalist, tweeting “…and then there is the “Editor in Chief” of the student blog/paper @CodyNesporSRU who pushes a lib agenda and [is] a horrible writer” to the feeds of his 5,500+ Twitter followers. Closely resembling the social media etiquette of President Donald Trump, or what we will refer to as the Trump Effect, this post caught the attention of not only the student journalist mentioned in the tweet, but student media advisers and professional journalists across the country. Unfortunately, this type of behavior is becoming more common in our society and student journalists need a framework for dealing with similar issues.

Using a modified version of the Potter Box created by Loy D. Watley (2014) as an analytical framework, this case study examines the aforementioned student journalist’s ethical action and response to the state representative’s tweet. Alternative outcomes to this specific situation will be discussed, as well as recommendations on how to handle the Trump Effect in the future, without harming the reputation of the journalist. Continue reading Research (Vol. 55): Bullied on Twitter