Photo courtesy of Steve

A growing body of research points to how social media, and specifically Twitter, is emerging as a hybrid space for the cultural production of journalism, where citizens are involved in the flow, framing and interpretation of news.

Studies into recent social movements such as Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring show how committed individuals are appropriating social media as a tool to articulate a counter narrative, and contest dismissive framing by mainstream media.

These movements do not have specific, concise demands that can be easily explained by mainstream media, but present an open-ended, unspecified meta-narrative where participants create their own meaning.

The Idle No More (INM) movement in Canada has followed a similar path. Beginning in late 2012, activists in Canada mobilised around the #Idlenomore hashtag and used Twitter to facilitate the visibility of a marginalised social reality. A study by Candis Callison and Alfred Hermida analyses 743,000 tweets at the height of the movement from December 2012 and January 2013 identifying key actors who shaped the INM hashtag. Read Dissent and Resonance: #Idlenomore as an Emergent Middle Ground, published in the Canadian Journal of Communication in 2015.