Opinion makers

Our own research on all Twitter users in the Netherlands (November 2016) suggests that media and journalists (together with politicians) are heavy Twitter users. On a national and local scale, they are often the central ‘hubs’ when Twitter networks are made visible. As journalists and politicians are heavy users, there are many news items where Twitter is used as a source. Right-wing populist politician Geert Wilders has 750,000 followers on Twitter (but follows no-one), he almost never appears on TV, usually refuses to be interviewed, but tweets on a daily basis. His tweets therefore often end up in media items.

Newspapers are still an important source for politicians, in particular the four largest newspapers De Telegraaf, AD, de Volkskrant and NRC Handelsblad, and broadcasters NPO (public) and RTL (commercial). Their news often lead to questions in parliament and visibility in their programs - especially in the daily TV talk shows - is seen as very important.