Blurring Boundaries Between Journalists and Tiktokers: Journalistic Role Performance on TikTok

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access | Ahead of Print | Last Modified: 7 January 2022

Blurring Boundaries Between Journalists and Tiktokers: Journalistic Role Performance on TikTok


  • María-Cruz Negreira-Rey Department of Communication Sciences, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain
  • Jorge Vázquez-Herrero Department of Communication Sciences, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain
  • Xosé López-García Department of Communication Sciences, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain


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Abstract:  In recent years, media has adapted to the logic of each new social network to respond to renewed consumption habits and journalists have developed new roles on these platforms. TikTok is an emerging platform with its own influencer culture and in which the main audiences are the millennial and centennial generations. The main objective of this study is to analyze the presence of journalists on TikTok through the type of content and strategies used in adapting to this platform. The research is based on methodological triangulation. First, a database of journalists on TikTok (n1 = 212) was developed and the profiles were reviewed. Second, a questionnaire survey (n2 = 63) was developed. Finally, a content analysis (n3 = 520) of profiles exceeding 100,000 followers was conducted. This research provides a first description of the activity of journalists on TikTok, where a variety of roles, usages, and strategies are identified, beyond those of their profession. They join the of-the-moment platform with different purposes (to inform, entertain, or introduce themselves) and targets (new audiences, young people, fans). Journalists adapt their presence to the TikTok social media logic, seeking a space of influence on a platform that is the natural habitat of younger generations.

Keywords:  influencer; journalism; journalist; social media; TikTok

Published:   Ahead of Print


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v10i1.4699


© María-Cruz Negreira-Rey, Jorge Vázquez-Herrero, Xosé López-García. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.