Comparing the Empowerment Dynamics of Traditional Media and Social News Sites: The Case of GameStop

Maria Ruiu, Massimo Ragnedda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the GameStop episode by contextualising the discussion in the structure-agency interplay to understand the role of social news sites in informing, mobilizing, and giving voice to different social and political actors. First, the GameStop squeeze might be conceived as both an individual and collective agency-led form of resistance to the domination of elite power represented by hedge funds. Second, it might be interpreted as an expression of empowerment thanks to the combination of public affair journalism, coordination among people (Power with), and diffusion of a new awareness and information (Power within) through apps and social site news that “democratise” the access to the news related to the trade market. Third, the episode might be interpreted as a structural-led evolution of resistance/empowerment that is driven by market mechanisms and empowered by social news sites. The case of GameStop highlights the impact of UGC on both global agendas and the conceptualisation of digital journalism, challenging traditional news-making as the pillar of public debate, and the nation-state as the main units of analysis for media studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalDigital Journalism
Early online date15 Nov 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Nov 2022


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