Social media and connective journalism: The formation of counterpublics and youth civic participation

Regina Marchi, Lynn Schofield Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Based on a study of US high school students from predominantly working-class, immigrant backgrounds, this article illustrates how young people used social media to share personal opinions, experiences and news about environmental problems affecting their neighborhood, ultimately helping to change public policy. It reveals how the interpersonal connectivity facilitated by social media can create opportunities for youth voice and collective identity that inspire connective action. Youthful online practices of sharing personal stories, links, photos, memes, videos and other online artifacts of engagement exemplify ‘connective journalism’ through which young people create and share narratives about their personal experiences and concerns that, in turn, allow them to see themselves as members of a larger community or counterpublic of people facing similar experiences and grievances. These connective journalism practices have implications for the ways we think about journalism, political activism and youth citizenship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-302
Number of pages18
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


  • Activism
  • affective publics
  • civic engagement
  • connective action
  • connective journalism
  • counterpublics
  • environmental justice
  • youth and social media


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